17Battle of the Bell bracketTerry Sanford’s Karl Molnar said soccer coaches always worry this time of year how ready their teams are for the season.

Molnar is giving some of the better ones even more reason to worry as he’s put together the first Battle for the Bell soccer tournament at Terry Sanford Aug. 15-19.

The three-day tournament will feature some of the top programs in Cumberland County and the Cape Fear region and possibly provide a rare encounter between Terry Sanford and Fayetteville Academy.

“Thanks to this tournament, everybody’s first game is sooner than it would have been, and it gets competitive real quick’’ Molnar said. “There are some top-level teams in this  tournament.’’

The field includes county powerhouses Terry Sanford and Pine Forest, along with the Academy. Traditionally strong region entries are Southern Lee, Pinecrest and Lee County.

Molnar rates Lee County, with a number of veterans back, the  early favorite.

Regardless of who’s favored and who isn’t, Pine Forest coach Isaac Rancour said the tournament is great for soccer and a great chance to play some teams that his Trojans don’t usually see.

The tournament will also benefit Miller’s Crew, a charity named after Molnar’s son and established by him and his wife Kim. Its purpose is to raise money to provide vocational training, materials and equipment to help disabled people learn job schools and eventually become employed.

There is a donations page at gofundme.com called Miller’s Crew Classroom Crash for those who would like to contribute.

“We’re working together to achieve a goal, not only for soccer but to help out the community,’’ Rancour said. “I think that’s a great concept it’s all planned around.’’

Fayetteville Academy coach Andrew McCarthy agreed with Rancour and said the Eagles are honored to be part of the event.

“I hope the community comes out to watch some great games,’’ McCarthy said. “The tournament most importantly helps a great charity.’’ Molnar said tickets to each day’s play at the tournament will be $7.

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