MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. --
The West Coast Regional Soccer Tournament came to a close here Sept. 24, 2010.
The Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton team emerged the overall winner after a 3-1 victory over the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms team in the championship game.
The two California-based teams remained scoreless in the first half, with Camp Pendleton exploding offensively in the second half to claim the victory.
The tournament was comprised of 21 games played over a five-day period, testing the wits and skills of seven teams.
The tournament also served as an audition for individual players to be selected for the All-Marine Soccer Team training camp.
Two Yuma-based Marines, Sgt. Sheriff Showunmi, Marine Attack Squadron 214 maintenance administration clerk, and Sgt. Rodolfo Ayala, Combat Logistics Company 16 utilities chief, were among the 11 players selected to travel to the Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, N.C., for the camp.
Neither of the Yuma Marines are strangers to the camp, both having attended once before.
"I'm a little nervous, but hopefully my second time around goes well," said Showunmi. "I'm playing my actual position, which is wide back, this time, so hopefully that helps."
The camp will put their skills to the ultimate test.
"This was a hard week of great soccer," said Staff Sgt. Clinton Dyer, assistant coach for the All-Marine soccer team. "This is the first step in the dream. Camp isn't going to be easy. It's going to be tough, but it's going to be fun."
If the players perform well in the camp, they will be selected to play on the All-Marine soccer team, and, possibly, even the All-Armed Forces team.
"These Marines are on their way to becoming professionals," said Raymond Parris, a retired chief warrant officer four and former head coach of the All-Marine soccer team. "Making the All-Marine team is the first, and most important, step. Soon, they'll be travelling and playing soccer and getting paid for it."