There’s a Place for Everyone

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By , Contributing Writer
May 2002

The Bellaire Soccer Club was formed 10 years ago with one team. Last fall they fielded 31 teams with 450 participants.

Shelby Swindoll

Chances are, you have seen neighborhood children on their way to soccer games on a Saturday morning. You also may have been at Feld Park on a Saturday and seen waves of soccer players flocking to the fields. That, however, is just the beginning. With soccer, there is a place to play regardless of age or ability.

The story of Bellaire soccer begins at Bellaire Recreation soccer, because that is where most players begin. Players as young as 4 may sign up for Bellaire Rec soccer. The rec program, run by the City of Bellaire, has seen steady growth under the guidance of Bellaire’s Employee of the Year, Buster Adams. For example, last fall there were 120 six and seven year olds playing soccer! Bellaire rec soccer teams are usually coached by an interested parent, and practice once per week. Either by random selection or by draft, an attempt is made to create teams of equal strength, and the Bellaire rec teams then play each other during their season.

For the child who enjoys the soccer experience, and wants to continue playing soccer, the Bellaire Soccer Club offers competitive soccer all the way through high school. The City of Bellaire and HISD provide playing fields, but the Bellaire Soccer Club is run by volunteers. The Bellaire Soccer Club was formed 10 years ago with one team. Last fall Bellaire Soccer Club fielded 31 teams with 450 participants. Based on the level of interest at Bellaire rec, the number of Bellaire Soccer Club teams probably will continue to grow in the future.

Aaron Hafer

Bellaire Soccer Club teams play teams from other Houston Youth Soccer Association (HYSA) clubs, such as Westbury, First Colony, and Quail Valley. More is expected of the club player. Most Bellaire Soccer Club teams practice twice a week. The coaches are licensed, and most teams hire a trainer to run one or both of the practices. The Bellaire Soccer Club has a number of good trainers. In an effort to continually improve, Pat Ankeny, Bellaire Soccer Club’s President, has set a goal of improving the training offered to the Bellaire Soccer Club teams so that players will master fundamental soccer skills.

Teams are formed by age. At age 10 and above, each club typically creates teams based on soccer playing ability. HYSA then brackets the teams so that teams play teams of like ability. As a result, there is soccer from a casual level to a very competitive level, and at each level the players and teams are evenly matched. As Pat Ankeny says, “there’s a place for everybody.”

The Bellaire Soccer Club teams are formed in early May for the fall season. For more information on registering for a Bellaire Soccer Club team, please visit their website at www.bellairesoccerclub.org

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