The South Dakota State Soccer Association no longer has to plan school functioned teams now that it is a sanctioned sport. With their spare time the SDSSA was able to host the inaugural Soccer Fest in Brookings this weekend bringing in every team from the Rushmore State.
"We have all of soccer represented right here," SDSSA President Rich Jensen said.
If you're a fan of soccer, Brookings was the place to be this weekend. The first ever Soccer Fest brought in 84 teams from the State Cup, Midcontinent Cup, and the Kohl's American Cup.
"That is the fun part of this whole thing. We've got talent from kids that do a lot of traveling to kids that qualify to go to the U.S.U. soccer event in Dayton, OH. We also have kids that are seven and eight years old that are playing soccer on a recreational basis, by far my favorite part of soccer anywhere in the country," Jensen said.
The event was brought together to showcase the state's top talented teams as well as spark a dream in the future futbol players.
"I would hope so, because I want to set an example for them and show them that playing soccer when you're older is, in my opinion, way better. It's a lot more intense. I really want to set my standards high for them," U17 Dakota Alliance's Sarah Lund said.
"At the same time you catch the high school players looking over at the younger kids and they go back to their memories of how they got started. It works both ways," SDSSA Vice President Mark Glissendorf said.
With ten fields at the Fishback Soccer Complex there was no shortage of excitement for a sport that is on the rise.
"It's a high level of soccer. If you haven't seen soccer in South Dakota for a few years come check it out because it's a good game," Glissendorf said.
Both Jensen and Glissendorf agreed the event was a success and they are excited for next year.