PTFC to host Furniture City Classic this weekend

Aug. 24—HIGH POINT — Soccer fields across the city will once again be filled with action this weekend.

Piedmont Triad FC will host teams from clubs across the region for the 37th playing of the Furniture City Classic youth soccer tournament Saturday and Sunday at Phillips Park, the High Point Athletic Complex and Ivey M. Redmon Sports Complex in Kernersville.

"Soccer is a growing sport," said David Upchurch, PTFC's director of coaching. "And there's a lot of excitement in the state, in the region with Charlotte FC and the announcement of the Core team.

"And so when you're able to provide an event like this right here in your own backyard, that's really, really unique and that's what we're excited about. And the kids are excited that they don't have to travel all that way for an event.

"As a club, we do still want them to have that experience — traveling to an event, staying in a hotel and playing different teams. But it brings some credibility to our city, our club to be able to host an event of this magnitude."

The annual tournament is one of the city's biggest events — drawing between five and six thousand people to the area, Upchurch said. Over a dozen clubs from across North Carolina as well as from nearby states will send about 60 teams to play 100 games.

Ages will range from U11-12 at Phillips Park to U13-14 at the High Point Athletic Complex to U15-19 at Ivey Redmon. Matches will begin each day at 8 a.m. and conclude around 6 p.m. on Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday. Champions will be crowned in 12 divisions. Game schedules are posted on

"There are always a few things that go into it, and I think the first is our club's hospitality," said Upchurch, also a High Point Central hall of fame player and coach. "We're very welcoming and we want to provide a great environment, a great product.

"With what the Parks and Recreation department does with preparing the fields, a lot of clubs and coaches say, 'We're going to come back next year because the quality of the fields is great and the quality of competition is great.'

"Not only does it serve our club but also these other teams coming here to prepare for the season."

The Furniture City Classic is one of two tournaments hosted by PTFC — along with the PTFC Nike Triad Shootout in February. And it remains one of the cornerstones of the club, which formed when Piedmont Soccer Alliance and Kernersville Soccer Association joined forces.

"It's great to develop a tradition," Upchurch said. "It's also a responsibility to continue that tradition and make it the best we can. I think we're all kind of attached to that and prideful of it.

"It is neat to see past directors, past presidents, past people who've participated in the tournament and they're like, 'Oh, that's still going on?' You can see that they're encouraged by it."

"And players who have played in it are now coaching in it," added Josh Windley, PTFC operations manager. "So, it's almost come full circle. It's been around that long and it still brings a lot of pride to the area and the community. It's pretty cool." — @HPEmichael