By Scott Kindberg
LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. - A pair of Bemus Point sixth-graders will be taking their soccer talents to Rider University this weekend to play in the United States Youth Soccer Region I Olympic Development Tournament.
Jackson Taber, left, and Jack Novotny, both of Bemus Point, will be participating in an Olympic Development Program soccer tournament this weekend in New Jersey. They are among a group of 36 chosen from New York.
Jackson Taber and Jack Novotny, both starting defenders, are members of the Region I ODP roster, having successfully navigated a grueling selection process that began last September and took them to Buffalo, Rochester Syracuse, Canandaigua and Batavia. The boys are two of only 36 players selected from New York state to participate in the tournament, which will feature two games on Saturday and one game on Sunday.
Involved in soccer since they were 5, the youngsters have played for Jamie MacCallum in the Bemus Area Youth Soccer league and have advanced their skills even further under the guidance of P.J. Gondek, the coach of the Black Watch, a Fredonia Under-12 travel team.
Interestingly enough, both Jackson and Jack had not been part of a club team until joining the Black Watch last December, but have blossomed since then. Both boys will continue with the Black Watch and also intend to play at Maple Grove Junior-Senior High School in the fall.
Jackson is the son of Jon and Nanette Taber, and Jack is the son of John and Michele Novotny.