Saturday, April 20, 2024

First Annual Keeper’s Cup Memorial Soccer Tourney Eyes Distracted Driving Outreach and Education as Main Goal

Conner Guido (The Guido Family)

WILLIAMSBURG — For Tammy Guido and David Messick, the first annual Keeper’s Cup Memorial Soccer Tournament means much more than trophies, medals and titles. This event is what keeps the legacies of their sons alive.

The Keeper’s Cup Memorial Soccer Tournament will take place March 13, 14, and 16 at Warhill Sports Complex off Longhill Road. The three-day tourney will bring over 500 players, coaches, and parents to the area.

With that many families in attendance, Guido has brought in the York Poquoson Sheriff’s Office, YOVASO, Williamsburg Police Department, James City County Police Department, Yorktown Police Department, and DriveSmart VA to offer presentations on the dangers of destructive driving.

“This is not a soccer tournament to me. This is a distracted driving outreach that we’re using soccer as the tool to get the kids there. Not only the kids, but for me it is so important that the parents are involved. I want parents to be held accountable for what their kids are doing when they help contribute towards their actions. This tournament is a tool to get the kids to the forefront and in front of our faces where we can talk about the dangers of destructive driving,” Tammy Guido, Conner’s mom, says.

Joseph Conner Williams Guido was killed in 2019 after an automobile accident, but Tammy has not let his legacy go to waste.

“We want everyone to remember Conner and honor him, but having this tournament for where it is and the schools that he used to play with is near and dear to my heart. This sport was what Conner loved and being able to bring this tournament to Williamsburg is a blessing to us,” Guido says.

Teams competing in the tourney include Gloucester, Grafton, Kecoughtan, Lafayette, Menchville, Tabb, Warwick, and Warhill. The tourney will have four divisions; boys and girls JV and boys and girls varsity will face off against each other to kick off the soccer season.

Luke Messick (The Messick Family)

The event, which will help raise funds for Conner’s memorial scholarship, will also benefit the Luke Messick Futbol Charities foundation. Messick, a Hampton native, was also killed by a distracted driver. For David Messick, Luke’s father, choosing to remember his son on the soccer field and his big heart are what this tourney is all about.

“He was the leader of the team, any team he was on. It just came naturally to him, both on and off the field. He was the kind of guy who would include everyone and made everyone feel special and a part of the team. He wanted everyone to feel special and was a force to be reckoned with,” Messick said.

Guido and Messick, both goalies, were heavily involved in the game of soccer during their lives, in the U.S. and abroad. Guido was being heavily recruited to play the game at the collegiate level. Messick had hopes of establishing a charity in Ghana to help kids be exposed to the game, which his family has continued to pour their time into, in addition to advocating for safer driving.

“… the goalie is the one they often look to and who brings the energy to the team. If somehow we can get them to understand — imagine that you’re looking at a photo while you’re driving down the interstate, could cause you to kill your goalie,” Messick explains. “Just imagine, you think they are going to live forever and that life lasts and lasts and lasts but you go and decide to look at your phone instead of driving on the interstate and kill someone. I’m hoping we get that message across.”

While the tourney is free for players to participate, the entrance fee for spectators is $10 a day or $25 for a three-day pass. All monies raised benefit both foundations. For more information, visit ConnerGweedo.com or lukemessickfc.com.

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