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LAKE WYLIE --
Inter Catawba Futbol Club nearly capped its first season with a fairytale ending at Walt Disney World. Now they’re heading back for the sequel.
Two club teams recently won spots in the Kick It 3v3 Soccer World Championships, to be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla., on Jan. 18-21, 2013. The trip will be the second in as many seasons for the local group.
Inter Catawba began last year as a club level organization for children in the Lake Wylie and Clover communities. They’ve since joined with Palmetto United, a Fort Mill-based group with players from Tega Cay, Indian Land, Rock Hill and south Charlotte, mainly. But since Inter Catawba teams already had season points accumulated under their former banner, its several teams decided to keep the Inter Catawba name through this season.
“Those kids have been doing that for a long time, even though they’re so young,” Palmetto board member Chris Quinn said. “It’s amazing to see how much hard work they’ve put into it.”
Through July, Inter Catawba’s U6 team was ranked No. 1 nationally among 55 squads. The U7 team was No. 7 of 97 teams. Both teams won Gold Division titles with undefeated runs through the Mooresville, N.C. 3v3 regional championships Aug. 4-5.
The U6 team maintained its top ranking, while U7 was expected to move up to No. 3 nationally. Both teams qualified for the elite bracket at the upcoming world championship event in Florida.
Inter Catawba’s U9 team also competed in the Mooresville regional, taking on the No. 1 and No. 4 teams in the country. Inter Catawba won the Silver Division in that age group.
“With all three teams playing so well our club was the talk of the tournament and folks were coming to watch our games in fairly large numbers,” said Todd Sykes, Inter Catawba founder and boys academy director for Palmetto. “I had the opportunity to talk up what we are currently doing and then building towards.”
In the Mooresville event, the U6 team scored 63 goals and conceded four. The U7 tallied 32 and gave up 10. Both teams also won state titles this year. The season long goal differential is more than 300 for U6 and 200 for U7.
Inter Catawba’s continued success is yet another positive for Palmetto, which is up to more than 400 children. They also lead the recreation program in Tega Cay, bringing in another 800 or more players.
When Palmetto and Inter Catawba operated separately, there were several members that travelled from where they lived to where they played, something that has been cut down some since the switch. Another bonus was field space, with fields at The Palisades and both Clover School District middle schools now added to others in Fort Mill and Tega Cay, including the group’s own sports complex.
It’s still early in the partnership, Quinn said, but the future for an expanded Palmetto United seems bright. As does the future of the Inter Catawba squads already preparing for a title run in January.
“They’re so young, that they’re only going to get better,” Quinn said.