Thanks as always to Tim Shaffer for snapping such great pictures this weekend. Be sure to check out the photo gallery throughout the season for other awesome images captured by Tim.
1. Multiplayer Families = Our Foundation
It's awesome to see so many little brothers and sisters suited up as players after years of roaming the sidelines at their siblings' games. We have countless families across the club that have as many as 3, 4, and even 5 children playing soccer. We are eager to do everything possible to support multi-player families and are proud to see how seemingly "small" our soccer community has remained despite explosive growth. Above and beyond juggling chaotic schedules, it's not uncommon to see multi-player parents stepping up to to coach on top of everything else. The Hull, Glinski, Ebeling, Richardson, Valdez, Molina, Gelalecha, Johnson, Pendell, and Trimble families (I'm sure we are missing a few) do so much to make soccer possible. The are truly our foundation.
2. Girls Registration - How Far We've Come
My first season coaching in the club, we barely had enough to form 1 all-girls team in the U4-U6 division. Further, there were very few girls teams in the older divisions and those teams that did exist were going extinct. They alway seemed to be scrambling to rope in new players every offseason just to field a team. My, how the times have changed! We have a record 5 all-girls teams in the U4-U6 division and actually had enough to form more. Thanks to record retention and reliable coaching for teams such as the Titans and Honeybees, our older girls teams are stronger than ever. Likewise, the U13 Tigers have thrived for years. Oh yeah, let's not forget to highlight that some of our best referees are amazing young ladies from within the community too.
3. Unrivaled Culture
True to our core values, Coach Yeh kept things light-hearted and fun this weekend. Check out the GoPro and equally awesome head gear worn by his Rainbow Dashers during their opening game. All our volunteer coaches do an excellent job of teaching quality soccer without losing sight of our primary stakeholder...the kids!
4. Player Development & Staying Challenged
After a very successful fall season, our Neon Knights decided to challenge themselves by making the jump to U11 early to face older competition. The Saber Tooths took a similar path for this spring in anticipation of impending rule changes mandated by US Soccer. Coaches all across the club proactively collaborate to make sure all our players end up in the best possible environment to foster both immediate and long term growth.
5. Players (New & Returning) Holding Their Own
Jullet and Gabriel are just 2 of the 100+ new players we welcomed to the club this season. While Saturday may have been their first official game, you sure wouldn't have guessed it. Some of our most active, aggressive, and engaged players all across the club this weekend were our new additions. It speaks volumes about the families WBSA welcomes every season that their little ones hit the pitch with so much confidence and excitement. Of course, it wasn't just our new players that were tearing it up over the weekend. Some of our most advanced players like "Erwinito" + little Diego and Xavi (two of our youngest in the club) picked up right where they left off.