Donations help CCA compete in soccer championship

Published 11:08 pm Tuesday, November 3, 2015

After a week of uncertainty, the Concordia College Alabama soccer team will be competing for the United States Collegiate Athletic Association’s national championship.

The team was selected by the USCAA to compete in the tournament last week, but the college feared initially that it wouldn’t be able to find the funding for Concordia to make the trip. Since then, enough donations have poured in from local businesses and churches to help the team afford to travel to Asheville, North Carolina — site of this year’s tournament.

“We were able to get donations from different entities,” said Don Jefferson, who serves as Concordia’s athletic director and vice president of student services. “We didn’t get everything, but we got enough where we could handle the travel and the food situation.”

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Jefferson said last week that the college would need around $8,000 to make the trip, but it apparently didn’t get quite that much.  The college was able to make up for the remaining funding needed, Jefferson said.

He said he didn’t want to release the names of any donors because he didn’t want to leave anyone out, but that many in the community came together to help out.

“We had a few churches and also we had companies make contributions,” Jefferson said. “We are very thankful for those who saw the need and decided to assist and help, so we are very appreciate of those who came forward.”

The team left Tuesday to make the trip to Warren Wilson College, which is hosting the tournament. Concordia is the No. 5 seed and will take on Berkeley College out of New York in the Hornets’ first game Friday at 1 p.m.

Hornets’ head coach Emanuel Stephens said his players were excited for the chance to play.

“Obviously they were relieved and just thankful for the opportunity,” Stephens said. “There is a lot of excitement to go and be able to go for two years in a row, so that’s a good thing.”

The tournament is single elimination and will continue through Saturday, which is when the championship match will be played. Last season, Concordia made it to the semifinals. Stephens said the last time Concordia won a soccer national championship was in 2009.