By William Harney
December 14, 2007
Look at the Fawn Mountain field which was a combination effort of several groups in this community: Ketchikan Running Club (KRC), Ketchikan Youth Football League (KYFL), Ketchikan Youth Soccer League (KYSL), Ketchikan High School Track, Ketchikan High School Cross Country, Ketchikan High School Football, Ketchikan High School Soccer, and several private citizens who saw a need for better facilities for the youth of this community as well as for adults to participate in sports and their own personal fitness. These groups met collectively to strive to get the best combination facility to meet all their needs. They developed plans together, lobbied the Borough government and attended planning meetings together. If you notice, the goals on the field are combination football/soccer goals to meet both groups needs. These goals were purchased jointly by KYSL and KYFL without Borough funds. Even the layout and size of the field was to accommodate both sports and still provide a quality track for the running community. The intention was always to have this be not just a soccer and football field, but also a place for track running and field events. Several groups including, but not limited to, KYSL and KYFL have been working towards getting turf and lights on this field to make it available more hours of the day to meet the sporting needs. The Rotary Club is planning to build a concession and bathroom facility.
In the fall, before any schedules are set, the KYSL representative and the KYFL representative talk together and iron out the field needs for both groups. As a matter of fact there is a great relationship between both groups. In the spring, all recreational sports and high school sports meet with the Gateway Public Works Department to discuss and cooperatively come up with Borough field usage times for all user groups.
Over the years, as more and more of our gym time has been cut at the Gateway Recreation Center, we have been able to adjust and continue to offer indoor soccer. Many times this is done by our cooperative discussions with the Ketchikan Dribblers League and the sharing of school gym times.
Wayne Kinunen's letter was merely pointing out that a beautiful track has been laid at Fawn Mountain and that there needs to be a turf field not only to enhance the field experience, but to protect the new track from damage from the dirt field. That has always been the plan, as funding became available.
KSYL offers two seasons. There is an outdoor season that runs about 10 weeks and an indoor season that runs 8 weeks. The high school program is a school program and that season is governed by Alaska School Activity Association (ASAA). While we are proud of our soccer programs, we also believe that the youth of this community have many options available to them and we encourage everyone to participate in all the activities they enjoy.
Finally, I would like to invite Mr. Royston to attend a KSYL board meeting. Meet the 9 hardworking, dedicated volunteers that want only the best for Ketchikan's youth, no matter what the sport. Or come and enjoy a soccer game. There you will find young players of all ages and abilities participating in the all-inclusive game of soccer.
Received December 13, 2007 - Published December 14, 2007
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