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Ladycats, Bearcats to host annual Moritz-Kia Tournament of Champions soccer tournament

Former Aledo soccer player and current Azle head boys’ soccer coach Willie Maloney is discussing strategy with the Bearcats during the 2018 state tournament. Maloney was a volunteer assistant coach at Aledo in ’18. The Bearcats will play Azle in the opening round of the Moritz-Kia tournament. Photo by Tony Eierdam

In an annual Aledo event, the Aledo Ladycats and Bearcats soccer teams will host the Moritz-Kia Tournament of Champions Thursday through Saturday at Bearcat Stadium and the Daniel Ninth Grade Campus practice field.

The tournament begins Thursday. The Ladycats will take on El Paso Montwood at noon at Bearcats Stadium.

Perhaps the most intriguing matchup of the tournament will be the Bearcats’ tournament opener at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at Bearcat Stadium against former district rival Azle.

It will be a Teacher versus Pupil matchup as Azle is coached by former Bearcat Willie Maloney, whose coach at Aledo was current boys’ head coach Derek Vierling.

Vierling said he is excited to coach against one of his former standout players. Maloney was also a volunteer assistant coach on the Bearcats’ 2018 state-finalist squad.

“It’s going to be awesome!” Vierling said. “I’m looking forward to the game We scrimmaged Azle (10 days ago) and it was fun. I didn’t really pay attention much to Azle during the scrimmage as I was concentrating on our team but I will go back and watch the video before we play.

“I think he already is a really good coach. He was very instrumental in our run to state in 2018. I’m looking forward to following his career; I think it’s going to be a good one and he is going to win a bunch of games – as long as it’s not against the Bearcats.”

Friday’s bracket play is determined by Thursday results.

Should the Ladycats win on Thursday, they will play at noon Friday against the winner of the Granbury/Fort Worth South Hills match.

If the Ladycats lose on Thursday, they will face the loser of the Granbury/South Hills match at 1:30 p.m. Friday at the Daniel Ninth Grade Campus field.

The winner of the Bearcats/Azle match will play at 1:30 p.m. Friday at Bearcat Stadium against the winner of the Benbrook/Eaton match.

Should the Bearcats lose their opener, they will play at 3:30 p.m. Friday at Bearcat Stadium against the loser of the Benbrook/Eaton match.

The girls’ championship match is scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday at Bearcats Stadium with the boys’ championship match to follow at 6:30 p.m.

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