Helena Gearing Up for Shodair Soccer Classic on Saturday - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Helena Gearing Up for Shodair Soccer Classic on Saturday

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HELENA - Sometimes the best of friends can be found in the biggest of rivalries.

"My roommate was a Hamilton girl who, she wasn't really mean, she was just a really good player," said former Billings Central player Kelsi Nusbaum. "So obviously I didn't like her because she was good against us. And I really like her."

One of the best parts of the Shodair Soccer Classic, other than gathering the state's best talent, is the breaking down of the East vs. West barriers.

"We all stay in the dorms together so everyone is at lunch, and at dinner, in the dining halls," said Kyle Higgins formerly of Missoula Hellgate. "So we all get to talk to each other and become friends."

"When you're playing against somebody like that it's the adrenaline rush and stuff like that is just combined, and you just hold a grudge for them," said former Helena High player Isaac Bostrom. "But once you're hanging out with them, watching movies, just walking around the dorms with them, all that kind of dissolves."

A vast majority of the kids playing in this year's classic will be going onto college to continue their soccer careers. With the classic providing their first taste of what it's like to play with other great players, and not to be the number one star of their team.

"It makes you feel a little bit more average for sure," says Bostrom. "I mean playing on a team that you're one of the better players, and you're one of the older players, and one of the leaders. And then you just combine those other players and it just makes you feel that they can relate to you more."

"It's not just AA, there is class B, C, and A," added Higgins. "And everyone is super competitive. Everyone is right there and wants to prove they're supposed to be here."

"It's just a celebration of great players and great skill," said Helena High and Boy's West coach Carl Straub. "And when they see each other doing great moves, or an awesome shot, or a great save they just celebrate that in each other."

So while many friendships will be formed off the pitch, you'd better believe each of these players wants nothing more than to prove their side, is the best side.
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