Dominican Republic soccer players visit Wilson County

Xavier Smith • May 15, 2018 at 10:40 AM

Lebanon welcomed a group of soccer players from Santo Domingo, capitol of Dominican Republic, this week as a part of the Partners of the Americas exchange program.

The players, aged 10-12, arrived in Lebanon on Thursday and will leave Wednesday. The Partners of the Americas is an international organization that looks to promote unity between central and southern North America through exchanges centered on sports.

This is the third visit by youth sports teams from Santo Domingo following two exchanges from the Santo Domingo Stars baseball team the last two years.

A group was chosen and began preparations for their visit to Lebanon last year after by local Partners chapter secretary Brad Majors visited Santo Domingo last summer. The preparations included practices, cultural training and fundraising for the trip.

The group met with Wilson United Soccer League president Rochelle Pritt, who organized the group’s activities, matches versus local teams and visits to various Middle Tennessee locations, along with Gary Linn, Partners of the Americas Tennessee chapter president.

The group, which included four coaches and a chaperone, stayed with families of Wilson United and Eagle Express players. Players included: Claude Valdez, Luis Angel Inoa, Bari Luis Bàez, Diego Villalona, Sebastian Guerrero, Temistocles Metz Paulino, Juan Carlos Vasquez, Amadeus Belliard, Andres Arsenio Alvarez, Airam Rodriguez, Jorge Urbaez, Abraham Alberto Estevez and Isael Piña. Coaches and chaperones included Dionisio Rivas Rivas, Ysvania Peralta, Lizconnie Camerena Peralta, Jhanna Cruz and Waldo Brea.

The group’s activities included visits to the Wilson County Veteran's Museum, games against Wilson United soccer teams, a pool party and cookout with players and families from the Eagle Express soccer club, and tours of sites in Nashville like the Frist Museum and Parthenon. They also visited Rep. Clark Boyd in Nashville and Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto.

The group will play local soccer teams on Tuesday before leaving Wednesday morning for some recreation and fun at the Barefoot Republic Camp, just across the Kentucky border on Barren River Lake.

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