AYSO coaches evade Dowagiac police during annual soccer event

Published 5:59 pm Thursday, May 26, 2016

Director of Public Safety Director Steven Grinnewald and his officers again responded to this year’s annual Coaches Versus Cops soccer game.

The event took place last Saturday at Russom Park. The game signals the end of the regular youth soccer season.

Local AYSO members first invited police officers to take part in the friendly unofficial competition in 2014 to promote a positive community activity after the season. Coaches quickly recognized the officers’ need for back up and have since allowed police to recruit temporary “auxiliary” officers (youth soccer players) to help balance out the skill level.

Officers started off well keeping the score 0-0 for almost most of the first quarter.  Coach Brandon “The Sandman” Sandora had at least one goal and one assist to stand out among the Coach’s team.

Coaches used good teamwork to end of the game with a sound 4-0 victory.  Still, this was a major improvement from last year’s estimated 10-3 Cops loss. Rules were strictly enforced this year with the exception of a few of the more obscure soccer rules.  These included the lesser-known regulations like using one’s hands to touch the ball (Cops), off sides (mostly Cops), and improper overhead throw in (also Cops).

Officers filled a few weak spots in their lineup by bringing in some younger recruits.  Both teams showed great sportsmanship and had a great time.

The spectators were not quite as rowdy this year, weather was beautiful, and coaches were nice enough to let the Cops off with a warning on a few penalties.  Officers and coaches were already talking about next year’s game and look forward to it. Dowagiac officers want to thank the local coaches and players for organizing and playing in this fun event.