St. Joseph Council Knights of Columbus Council 10627 in High Bridge conducted their 10th Annual Soccer Challenge competition for youths ages 9 – 14. The competition is co-sponsored by the High Bridge Youth Soccer organization and was held at the Union Forge Soccer Fields in High Bridge. Eleven boys and girls from High Bridge were named local champions.
The Knights of Columbus is an international Catholic family fraternal service organization with 1.8 million members in over 15,000 local councils. Last year, Knights donated 70 million volunteer hours and $170 million to charitable and benevolent causes, sponsoring projects to benefit their Church, communities, councils, Culture of Life, families and youth.
Winners of Knights of Columbus Soccer Challenge progress through local, district, and state competitions. International champions are announced by the K of C international headquarters in New Haven, CT, based on scores from the state-level competitions. The Soccer Challenge is designed for players to demonstrate the most basic of soccer skills — the penalty kick. Each player is allowed fifteen shots at the goal from the penalty line (12 yards from the goal). The goal is divided into a series of 5 scoring zones. The upper corners of the goal are designated as 20 point zones. The lower corners are designated as 10 point zones and the central region is a 5 point zone. Kicks are subject to the normal rules of soccer.
Knights of Columbus member and HBYS Board Member Dave Kinsky and Knights Youth Director Chris Denis, organized the event assisted by other Knights. Alexandra McComb was the 9-year-old girls’ champion and Aedan Dorwart won the 9-year old boys’ division. Kate Johnson was the 10-year-old girls’ champion and Jason Morales was the winner of the 10-year old boys’ division. In the 11-year-olds’ bracket, Maggie Hann was the girls’ champion and Alex Kinsky was the boys’ champion. Twelve-year-old winner in the girls’ division was Miranda Corley who had won the 10-year old New Jersey State Championship in 2015. The 12-year old boys’ bracket was won by Michael Strange. The 13-year-old girls’ division was won by Sophia Desire and the boys’ by Owen McComb. The 14-year-old champion in the girls’ bracket was Kali Torkildsen. Kali has won the local competition four consecutive times and last year won the divisional championship.
Each of these winners will compete in the district competitions to be held in October with an eye toward moving on to the state and international levels.