By LORI PINELLI - For the Star Beacon
Clay Brown, an eighth-grade athlete from Conneaut Middle School, says that he likes soccer because there’s no stopping. And when it comes to soccer, there’s no stopping Brown.
This weekend Brown is going to Hagerstown, Maryland to represent Ohio at the Mid-Atlantic Elks Invitational Soccer Shoot. The Hagerstown Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks will host the annual competition Friday through Sunday. The event encourages youngsters in accurate shooting skills and good sportsmanship.
Boys and girls from six states will compete in the tournament in their respective age categories, as well as the six state teams competing to see who has the highest score total. Teams are coming from Kentucky, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and the Delmarva area. The winner will take home the roving regional trophy.
Brown qualified for the Mid-Atlantic Invitational by winning the Ohio State Elks Soccer Shoot in July 2012. He followed in his sister's footsteps when he won the championship; his sister, Kelly Paneto, was the Ohio State champion in 2000. At the end of the contest, Brown was tied with 36 points for first and won a five-ball shootout to claim victory.
Brown said he enjoys the regional soccer competitions.
“Meeting people from far away is fun and interesting,” he said.
Brown is also a member of the undefeated Conneaut Middle School soccer club team. They finished the fall 2012 season with 13 wins and no losses. The team outscored their opponents on the season 64 goals to 8. Many of these talented Spartans will move to the high school team next year.
“His mother and I are very proud of our boy,” said Shane Brown, Clay’s father.
The athletic father and son both bike to raise funds to help others. Clay will be cycling in his seventh “MS Escape to the Lake” in support of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society this summer.