MEDWAY — If you happened to be strolling down Route 126 Saturday morning, chances are you may have heard cheering echoing in the distance. That’s because Medway High School was in the process of hosting the annual Eastern Massachusetts girls soccer jamboree, and 36 total teams made the trip to town to participate.
“The facilities help,” chuckled Medway athletic director Jeff Parcells. “Right? We’re in a good spot. We’re in a decent area for teams on the North Shore to come down, teams from the South Shore to come (up), that makes it a bit easier. Plus we have the three turf fields, and we use our grass fields. So I think the facility definitely helps the event.”
The jamboree itself first came to fruition in 2008, with 18 teams taking part. For the first few years, the event was held at Woburn High School. In 2017, Medway High School began hosting the competition. Each program typically plays two separate games.
Delaney Condon is hoping to have a breakout season for Medway. The junior striker simply felt relieved to finally be back to playing the sport she and her teammates love, and against some stellar programs at that.
“It feels awesome,” said Condon. “It’s probably one of the (best) days of the year. My whole team shows up at 10 a.m. for a 3 o’clock game. We just love being out here all day and watching the great competition.”
Premier programs such as Bishop Feehan and Hingham made noise early on in the day, with the Tri-Valley and Hockomock Leagues also well-represented.
Mustangs coach Jason Rojee coordinated the tournament.
“I think that girls soccer in Massachusetts doesn’t get the credit that it deserves,” Rojee said. “We send girls off to play at some of the best Division 1 colleges in the country. If you look at girls soccer in Massachusetts, I think (this) is one of the more underrated, and valued resources that we have as athletes.”
There wasn’t just a soccer jamboree taking place at Medway High School Saturday. In the gymnasium, seven schools gathered for a volleyball tournament as well, with Medway, Needham, Nipmuc, Oliver Ames, Walpole, Westborough, and Westwood competing.
Donations collected from the events benefitted a GoFundMe page for Medway physical education teacher David Murphy, who has been battling an illness.
“This really is the kickoff to the regular season,” said Parcells. “Fortunate to have golf kick us off last week, but all of our other teams get started this week, and this is fantastic. This is the last ‘pre-test’ before the big exam, which starts on Tuesday for the majority of our teams… and it’s great just seeing all the camaraderie.”