Mount Vernon and West Potomac Face Off in Alumni Soccer Match
Alumni soccer game raises funds for Mount Vernon's soccer program.
The area's biggest high school rivals met on the soccer field at Mount Vernon High School Saturday night at the second annual West Potomac-Mount Vernon alumni soccer game.
Former players on both teams faced off in two matches. Senior players who graduated before 2000 kicked off first, followed by junior players who graduated after 2000 playing the final match of the night.
The game is a fundraiser for Mount Vernon's soccer program and brings awareness to both Mount Vernon and West Potomac's soccer programs. This year's game raised a little more than $2,000, according to head coach Robert Garza. Mount Vernon's boys' varsity soccer team is currently ranked 11th in the state and 43rd in the nation.
Gerard Schwenk, a co-organizer of the alumni game and Mount Vernon boys' varsity soccer assistant head coach, played soccer at UNC-Wilmington and decided to bring the concept of an alumni game to Mount Vernon two years ago.
"I reached out to Anthony Garza at Mount Vernon whom I knew along with his brother Bobby from my playing days at old Mount Vernon," Schwenk said. "I shared my thoughts with Tony and he and I came up with a plan and here we are two years later."
Soccer continues to play a huge role in Schwenk's life.
"I still play and coach, soccer has been a huge part of my life in very many ways," he explained. "It paid for my college, taught me how to compete and win and it showed me that teamwork can get you anywhere you want to go in life."
Mount Vernon alum Tim Weiss played in the 1992 Gunston District championships and returned to his alma mater to play in the alumni game for the second time.
"It's nice to come back and see all my old friends," said Weiss, who now lives in Lake Ridge. "If it promotes Mount Vernon soccer, I'm all for it."
West Potomac boys' soccer head coach Andrew Peck has been coaching for five seasons. When he was approached with the idea of an alumni game, he was immediately in favor of it.
"It's awesome to bring the guys back," he said. "It's a big deal for these guys with the rivalry. I'm sure they're all friends now but back then it was a love-hate relationship."
"Mount Vernon and West Potomac have always been schools who love to play against each other and hate to lose to each other," Peck continued.
West Potomac won 7-6 in two rounds of penalty kicks in the senior game in a penalty kick shoot-out that was called after the score was tied at 1-1 at the end of regulation. Mount Vernon defeated West Potomac 5-2 in the junior game.