60 soccer teams compete in Albion at Ben Kirby tournament

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 February 2024 at 7:59 am

Photo by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Alison Gibson, left, of Albion and Emma Brady of Holley battle for the ball during a girls varsity game on Saturday in the Albion High School gym.

It was part of the annual Ben Kirby Memorial Tournament, an event organized by the Albion Soccer Club. Holley won this girls varsity game.

There were 60 teams in Albion for the two-day tournament, from sixth grade up to adults in an open division. Each team can have up to eight players. Games were also held in the elementary school gym.

There were 122 games played in the two days.

Natalie McCue, one of the tournament organizers, thanked the school district for use of the facilities for the tournament and the volunteers who ran the event.

The two-day indoor tournament honors Ben Kirby of Albion. He was a student at the Rochester Institute of Technology when he died in a car accident on Nov. 6, 2017. He was 21 at the time, in his senior year majoring in software development. Kirby played youth soccer for Albion and also on the school teams.

In addition to team championship honors, there will be Ben Kirby sportsmanship awards given out to some of the players.

Some of the proceeds go towards a $500 Ben Kirby scholarship given to a student nominated by one or more of the teachers in the Albion High School. Three of the scholarships are awarded each year.

Those scholarships are intended for someone who is a “good kid” who best exemplifies the characteristics of the Scout Law that Ben lived by: A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent.

Ben’s mother Wendy spent several hours at the tournament and baked 500 of her oatmeal chocolate chip cookies that were available at the concessions stand.

“We are so grateful that everyone remembers Ben,” Mrs. Kirby said.