Posted: 11:59 pm Monday, July 21st, 2008

Soccer championships move to Tampa 

By Jason Lieser

The University of Tampa will host boys and girls soccer championships each of the next two years. Tampa will be a much more centrally-located site than Fort Lauderdale’s Lockhart Stadium, which hosted the semifinals and finals the last five seasons.


It doesn’t always work out this way, but the FHSAA seems to prefer central Florida locations for its championships. And that’s fair. It would be at least a 7-hour bus ride for a Tallahassee team to get down to Fort Lauderdale, and South Florida schools would cringe at the idea of going to, say, Pensacola.

Then again, most people cringe at the idea of going to Pensacola, don’t they?

Anyway, it’s funny because I spoke with an FHSAA rep at the most recent girls soccer championships at Lockhart and asked why they held them so far south. His answer? No one else wanted them.

Now, apparently, somebody does. I’ve never understood why there isn’t more competition to host state championships in any sport. It seems like colleges, especially in football, would be clamoring to get some of the state’s top high school athletes on their campus.

I would think UCF, for example, would help its recruiting tremendously by hosting the football championships, and I think the teams would enjoy playing at Bright House Networks Stadium a lot more than the Citrus Bowl (contract ends after 2010).

They better hurry before Greg Schiano enters a bid on behalf of Rutgers Stadium.