WAGS Tournament: Parents make long trip to tournament to support daughters
By Roger Gonzalez
A chance to take a trip and support their daughter’s soccer career, many parents, even aunts and uncles, made it out to George Mason and surrounding pitches for the 37th Annual WAGS Rael Vodicka Memorial Tournament.
“Five hours, five-hour drive,” said New Yorker Durk Barnhill, who came down with his daughter, who is a goalkeeper.
Teams came from all over this nation, even Canada was represented. Families were spotted all over the fields, enjoying the nice weather, grabbing some food, sharing stories and enjoying the soccer on display. They all came for the same reason.
“WAGS is one of the most important soccer tournaments for our girls,” Barnhill said. “This is our fifth year coming to WAGS. Now our girls are at the age where they are being recruiting by colleges and there are a lot of college coaches here and the best competition. We want to play against the best.”
It’s a chance for exposure, something you don’t always get, especially during the high school season.
“It’s very important,” Barnhill said of the exposure. “My daughter wants to play Division I soccer. She has a dream, she has worked very hard.
“I feel that it is my duty as a father to try and do everything I can to help her realize it.”
The parents traveled well and are having a blast.
“Every single kid has a parent here,” Barnhill said. “That is how we do it. We have a ball. We have a fun time together, we all go out to dinner as a team. This is a very well-run tournament.”
Deanna Carillo, a Texan whose daughter is participating in the tournament, saw two things they could get out of the competition.
“WAGS is a highly regarded tournament,” said Carillo, who is from Dallas. “You get the benefit of the soccer side of it as well as the Patriotic involvement, getting to go to DC to tour.”
As the tournament ends, families and players have had a blast, gone sight seeing, witnessed talent from around the country and bonded. Players have made parents proud. Parents leave content knowing they have helped their daughters.
That’s what the WAGS Tournament is all about for all the parents we could speak with this Columbus Day weekend.