Empire’s best putting their best foot forward in Kiwanis soccer showcase

By ALLIE COLOSKY
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Sonoma Academy's Lucy Donaldson, center, is among several Empire players who will be playing in the Kiwanis Club all-star showcase at Montgomery High School on Friday. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat)

Sonoma Academy’s Lucy Donaldson, center, is among several Empire players who will be playing in the Kiwanis Club all-star showcase at Montgomery High School on Friday. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat)

Some of the best boys and girls high school soccer players in Sonoma County will gather at Montgomery High School tonight in a showcase for charity.

The Kiwanis Club is hosting its first all-star soccer game for soccer players from local leagues, but it’s also a new opportunity for players to face off one final time in a talent show of sorts, said event organizer Dave Kronberg.

“We are trying to create the same tradition for soccer that we have had with football and other sports for the past 40 years,” he said.

“There are a lot of great players and we just hope it’s a lot of fun for them out there.”

[RELATED: See a complete roster of players here]

Players from both the North Bay League and Sonoma County League have only practiced a few times with their respective north and south squads, said girls’ south team coach Chris Ziemer, but the experience on the field will be quite obvious.

“This game provides an opportunity to showcase the top graduating seniors and it’s great because they (the players) get to represent their schools for the last time,” he said.

Instead of the typical division between the North Bay and the Sonoma County leagues, the two squads and their coaches are split between the north and the south, in order to create a more level playing field and to include some of the talent from the smaller schools in the area, Kronberg said.

“We looked for league success when choosing coaches and we decided we wanted a more balanced game,” he said. “We wanted a more competitive situation.”

The doubleheader begins at 5:30 p.m. with the girls playing first, and the boys follow at 7:30 p.m.

General admission is $12, with discounts for kids and seniors.

“It’s just going to be fun for the players to get out and play with each other and maybe even form some new friendships,” Ziemer said.

“I’m really glad the Kiwanis club stepped up and has allowed this final game for the student-athletes to show their stuff before they leave for college.”

ALL-STAR BASKETBALL

The fifth annual Schools Plus high school all-star basketball games will be held at Santa Rosa High on Saturday night.

The event features players from the North Bay League and Sonoma County League. The girls’ game tips at 6 p.m. and the boys’ game follows at 7:30 p.m.

Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for kids age 18 and younger.

All proceeds benefit sports, music and art programs in Santa Rosa’s public secondary schools.

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