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Virgen's View: Pilot Cup coming soon

April 03, 2013|By Steve Virgen
(Don Leach / Daily…)

Representatives from Costa Mesa and Newport Beach elementary schools gathered for a special meeting Monday night at our office.

They came to find out more about the biggest elementary school soccer tournament in Orange County, maybe even in the state, or perhaps the nation.

Little footballers, coaches, parents and teachers are getting ready for the 14th annual Daily Pilot Cup, which takes place May 28 through June 2 in Costa Mesa.

The tournament is huge with participation and just as big for the youngsters who all want to win.

Kirk McIntosh, the Daily Pilot Cup tournament director, organizes the pre-event meeting to help in the quest to have everything run smoothly.

That's where the representatives come in, or as McIntosh likes to call them, "liaisons." They are in charge of organizing the teams from their school and other duties designated.

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"The tournament is so established that it gets easier and easier for me," McIntosh told the liaisons, ensuring them their jobs would be simple if they remain organized.

He, of course, speaks from experience. McIntosh has seen the Daily Pilot Cup grow from when he resurrected the tournament that had been known as the Lions Cup. Back in 2000, when I started working at the Daily Pilot, the Pilot Cup had around 30 teams.

Last year there were 216 teams, the most ever in its history. That's over 2,000 pumped-up kids storming the soccer fields in Costa Mesa. In 2011, there were 207 teams.

I'm not sure if this thing can get any bigger, but I would not be surprised if it did.

The Pilot Cup is a unique tournament that brings the community together in a great way, McIntosh usually says each year. I agree.

The kids at each school don't really get to compete with their classmates in such a big tournament. It's exciting for them. Several teams are already formed and practicing to prepare for the tournament.

There are different levels for boys and girls — gold, silver and bronze divisions — to maintain balance. There are third- and fourth-grade, as well as fifth- and sixth-grade levels

The soccer tournament features boys and girls playing separately in gold, silver and bronze divisions, competing on third- and fourth-grade and fifth- and sixth-grade levels.

The games are played at the Jack Hammett Sports Complex, better known as The Farm, and Costa Mesa High and Davis Elementary.

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