SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Fan of more than just soccer
By Jerry Royster


December 12, 2007
Wednesday AM

Interesting how time changes things in a small town. Ketchikan has always been a basketball town first, with the other sports left to fend for themselves. But over the past few years I've noticed that we are splintering into three groups in the athletic world.

Yes, basketball is still king. But the soccer folks seem to have adopted somewhat of an elitist attitude amongst their rank and file, and are really segregating themselves from other youth sports. Then sports like baseball, wrestling and volleyball still fend for themselves.

Mr. Kinunen's letter is an example of what I am talking about concerning soccer. I believe that over a million dollars was spent on the athletic fields at Fawn Mountain school.

Last year there was some debate by the Schoenbar soccer coach concerning use of Norman Walker field. Even though there is a brand new soccer field available, he still wanted first option on using Norman Walker. This would be fine if Little League and KYFL and the high school baseball and football teams were allowed to use the Fawn Mountain field for their sports.

So soccer gets it's own brand new field, plus they want to use the existing baseball/football field, and now they want several hundred thousands of public dollars to be spent to change the playing field's surface. Sound a bit greedy to you???

I have a child who attends Houghtaling and she says that pretty much all they do in PE is play soccer. There are currently three different soccer seasons in Ketchikan.

It seems as if soccer and its fanatical leaders are trying to take over the Ketchikan sport's world.

If you are a die-hard soccer enthusiast, this may seem OK to you. But if you are a fan of ALL sports and think our children should have as many options as possible - then you have to realize that trying to monopolize all of the community's resources (money, fields, participants) is NOT a good thing for the strength of the overall youth athletic community.

Before you think I'm exaggerating, I had a conversation the other day with somebody "high up" in the soccer community. They were bragging about how many kids were now involved in the youth soccer league, and how their numbers keep rising while Dribbler's and Little League's numbers keep shrinking. AND THEY WERE PROUD OF THIS! This was a badge of pride and honor for him. That's sad.

As adults, parents, fans and coaches of youth athletes, we need to WORK TOGETHER and not against each other. We need to work hard to ensure that all sports are able to rise to their highest level possible. Having one sport trying to dominate the rest of them . . . just leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. Let's do what is good for the entire community and not just what is best for one sport.

Jerry Royster
Ketchikan, AK

Received December 11, 2007 - Published December 12, 2007


Related Viewpoint:

letter FAWN MOUNTAIN FIELD By Wayne Kinunen

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Ketchikan, Alaska