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Pa. plays for charity to remain unbeaten in Four Diamonds

November 12, 2007|By DAN KAUFFMAN

The Four Diamonds Senior All-Star Game has always revolved around two things:

A final opportunity for the best senior boys soccer players from Washington County and Southcentral Pennsylvania to show off their skills.

An opportunity for the soccer community to support a worthy cause - the Four Diamonds Pediatric Cancer Fund, to which all proceeds benefit.

In the five years the contest has been played, another theme has emerged: The Public Opinion Pennsylvania all-stars' dominance. They will look to continue that trend against The Herald-Mail Washington County all-stars when the sixth annual Four Diamonds Classic kicks off Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Waynesboro's Rip Engle Stadium.

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Pennsylvania has outscored Washington County 14-3 in the five games, including 7-1 last year. A 1-1 tie in 2005 is the only slight blemish on Pennsylvania's 4-0-1 record.

"These guys try to win the game," said event organizer Steve Tanner, the former Waynesboro coach, whose son Zach is a cancer survivor. "The worst we've done is tie, and this year's coach, Greg Best of Fannett-Metal, he asked how the other team looks. The coaches know we've never lost, and he doesn't want to be the first one."

"When I put out invitations to the Pennsylvania guys, I said we're 4-0-1 and haven't lost yet."

The teams show up and play without having practiced as much as a single time - which makes for quite a challange for Best and North Hagerstown coach Glen Singer, who will help direct the Washington County squad.

"I think we'll have a pretty good team," Singer said. "It's always difficult to take guys who have never played before, put them on the field and see how they'll do, but there's some pretty good individual talent. ... I expect it to be a pretty good game.

"The kids get excited for it. All the kids on both sides are competitive, and they take a lot of pride in putting forth their best effort."

About $5,000 has been raised over the five-year history of the event, and with temperatures expected to be in the 60s on Tuesday, Tanner believes the event will raise more than $1,000 again.

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