BY LAUREN CARTER
When the USAO men's soccer team hosts Grand View University in the first round of the NAIA National Tournament at Hampton Field on Saturday, the fans will see the result of collaboration between the college, Chickasha High School, and the Chickasha community.
"Personally, I was excited to hear that Chickasha and USAO would be hosting a national tournament game," said Chris Mosley, president of the Chickasha High School Booster Club "Many don't realize the academic standards of USAO and that the university is the state's only public liberal arts university. This game provides the chance for Chickasha to be recognized on a national level as a soccer powerhouse, as well as a fine education institution."
Mosley explained he and the booster club are simply glad to help.
"We have an excellent venue to educate the community of USAO soccer and encourage the public to learn more about the game in general," Mosley said.
The booster club is not just lending a hand to the university on game day, it has served as a liaison for both teams all week.
"The club is providing access to the fields, locker rooms, providing water at practices and seeing to needs the teams have while preparing for Saturday's game," Mosley explained. "We will also be offering concessions during the game time. Chickasha Public Schools has bent over backwards to provide a beautiful playing field and facilities, they have been great to work with."
Mosley and the rest of the booster club are hoping this brings the community together in support for the university.
"Soccer is misunderstood by many as simply kicking a ball, there's a lot of thought which goes into the game strategy," Mosley said. "This is an excellent time for the community to learn of the athletic excellence of USAO, a great school in our own backyard."
Drover's head coach Jimmy Hampton expressed his gratefulness for the program and this opportunity in a recent interview.
"I am excited for USAO to get to host and thankful to CHS for letting us use their facilities," Hampton said. "We are hoping to pack the place with 1,500 Drover fans for this unique event."
Tickets for the game will be $4 for adults and $3 for students. Students with a valid USAO or CHS ID will get in for $2, while children under 12 enter for free.
The opening round game will is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday on Hampton Field at Chickasha High School against Grand View University from Iowa.