Local soccer teams set to do their part to give back with Holiday Cup


Nease boys soccer is hosting the third annual Holiday Cup on Dec. 21 with a pair of matchups as four local teams get together for a good cause and competitive soccer.

The day will begin with the Mandarin High Mustangs facing the Bishop Kenny Crusaders at 5:30 p.m. and it will be followed by an in-county contest between the Nease Panthers and the Creekside High Knights at 7:20 p.m.

Both games will feature free admission for all those who attend, but donations are highly recommended and will go toward supporting the efforts of Soaring High Community Outreach and Ronald McDonald House.

Soaring High Community Outreach is a program based at Valley Ridge Academy that strives to provide summer camps, after-school programs and holiday gifts to students in need.

Ronald McDonald House has several charitable programs associated with it that have the goal of helping families physically, emotionally and economically during their health care journeys.

In the first year, Nease and Creekside got together to play a game that served as the fundraiser and then last year it grew to two games and that will be the format once again this year, as the effort has grown over the years.

However, one of the main areas where Nease head coach Fred Hallett would like to see it continue to climb is the amount of donations brought in due to the event taking place.

Cash and Venmo donations will be accepted at the gate and throughout the event, as well as new and unused bedding, stuffed animals, blankets, and gift cards from Publix or Walmart.

According to Hallett, the game and event is a unique opportunity not just to give back and help the community they call home, but it also presents the players with an outlet to make a difference and do so playing the game they love.