Young and old play the field at The Center

Young and old play the field at The Center
Team West Coast Surf Shop took the eight-to 10-year old soccer league championship at The Center. - Monica Simpson | Sun

From the three- to five-year-old soccer clinic to the 79-year-old Lyn Clarke, The Center has soccer for everyone. Using the little pop-up nets on the small field, the youngest players start loving the game, while the adults on the big field bring their international experiences to the league.

Youth soccer came to an end once again last week with the two championship games won by West Coast Surf Shop for the eight- to 10-year-old league and Lancaster Designs for the older kids in the 11- to 14-year-old league. Both victories came after regulation play in shootouts.

Accolades abounded for both leagues with Brylee Roberts and Luke Dellenger taking the Most Improved Player honors. The goalie of the year awards went to Alexander Teich and Travis Bates.

Protecting their ends of the pitch with impressive moves, earning them the Defensive MVP recognition were Mason Moss and Caden Quimby.

Understanding the importance of respecting the sport and the opponents winning the Sportsmanship award was Braelyn Curtis and Konnor Oelfke.

Female and Male MVP distinctions were given to Savanna Coba and Nixon Connor for the eight- to 10-year-old league, and Abbie Philpott and Thomas Philpott for the 11- to 15-year-old league.

In the adult co-ed soccer league, there is a 60-year age gap between the youngest and oldest players. Each player in the league brings their own talents and experiences to the game.

Brooke Capparelli, playing for the Blalock Walters team, helped her squad beat Ross Built Construction last Wednesday night with an assist. Capparelli, the youngest player in the league, grew up playing soccer at the Island’s community center as a youth.

On the other end of the age spectrum is Clarke, who started the season on the Vacasa team. Clarke, who will soon be 80, put his application into the Guinness World Record as the oldest active competitive soccer player.

In between, there are several players who are over the age of 50 and a growing number of players in their early- to mid-20s, including league top scorers Joey Hutchinson and Amy Ivin.

Top statistical players on the other end of the age spectrum, Damir Glavan and Greg Ross, prove why experience and smart play in the league is just as valuable as young, fast legs.

In Thursday night’s game, Glavan and Ross, playing for Ross Built Construction, had a total of five goals helping their team with the 7-1 win over Lancaster Designs.

As the play continues years down the road, it is very likely that the average age of the league will continue to get older just as new young players join the fun on the field.

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