Jason Davis “Kick Cancer Classic” honors namesake with benefit

Jason Davis Memorial "Kick Cancer Classic,” a cancer benefit held in the memory of Pearl soccer player Jason Davis, is scheduled for Saturday, October 30. Since 1995, the Pearl Youth Soccer League (PYSL) has been fortunate to be able to provide a benefit soccer tournament, the proceeds of which are donated to a local family fighting cancer. The tournament is open to U6 - U19 teams, recreational and competitive.

Davis began playing soccer with PYSL during its first year of inception in 1980. Davis attended Pearl Schools from elementary through high school until graduation in 1993. While attending Pearl Schools, he played for the Pearl Junior High and High School soccer teams from 1986 to 1993. After graduation, he attended The University of Mississippi and played on their first soccer team. Davis was a freshman at Ole Miss when he was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma in his head and neck. He was able to complete the soccer season, excluding the tournament games at the end of the season.

Davis received his cancer treatments at M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston, Texas. Upon completing his treatments, Davis returned to Ole Miss in the fall of 1994. He attempted to practice with the soccer team but realized he was not physically able. Instead, Davis went to the City of Oxford and became a coach for a U12 team.

While Davis was receiving cancer treatments at M.D. Anderson, the Pearl Youth Soccer League organized a tournament to raise money to help with Davis's expenses. After he passed away, PYSL asked if they could continue the tournament in Davis's name (Jason Davis Memorial "Kick Cancer Classic") to help others fighting cancer. In the early years, the money was given to the American Cancer Society. More recently, the proceeds from the tournament go to benefit other cancer victims in Rankin County.

This year, registration closes October 27, at 12 p.m. The tournament cost is $12 per player. All U14 and above will be 7v7 small-sided games. There will be no referees for this benefit tournament. Coaches will handle the games, and, if any issues arise, the tournament director will handle them. There will be a $5 parking fee.

Visit www.pearlsoccer.com to register for the 2021 event, or contact pearlsoccer@gmail.com for more information.

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