The Canfield Soccer Club is preparing for a special season this summer as the club turns 35. The club is hoping to see close to 500 kids on the fields at Canfield Township Park in late April.
"Our season will start the week of June 18 with our kid's camp," said CSC President Brian Governor. "This camp is put on by the Canfield High School soccer team who works with their younger counterparts."
Governor said the club has come a long way since it was formed in 1978. He said the first few years saw between 75 to 80 kids sign up.
"We played anywhere we could find a grassy area," Governor said. "We played in the city parks, at the elementary schools and even in coaches' back yards."
Back in the late '70s and early '80s, soccer was just rising in popularity, so even 80 kids was a good number for the times. As the club entered the 1990s, the sport was reaching the center stage with more kids interested in playing.
Around 1999 and 2000 we peaked at roughly 700 kids in the program, Governor said. "Today it has leveled out to between 450 to 500 kids and a new home with a well-designed field at Canfield Township Park."
That number is still pretty high considering that the CSC operates during the summer months. Neighboring communities usually run their programs in the fall.
"We have to contend with the swim clubs and vacations," Governor said.
Governor said it is an important program that helps feed the high school soccer teams. He said nearly every player at the high school got their start with the CSC. He should know, his own daughter, junior Olivia Governor was last year's goalie and will likely return this fall for her final year. Her sister Merideth is nine and has some time to go in soccer.
"I'm in this for the long haul," Governor said.
For the short term, Governor and the hundred or so volunteer coaches are preparing for another season and a year of celebration. They are presently talking about placing 35 year patches on the uniforms this year and are looking at a family picnic to end the season. While both ideas are still on the table, the CSC is preparing for the opening of their season.
For information about the club, visit the club's website at www.canfieldsoccerclub.org.