YC Soccer Featured In Article
AROUND THE BLUHMIN’ TOWN
Get Olympic at home with world-class soccer clinics
By Judy Bluhm
Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor who lives in Skull Valley. Have a story or a comment? Email Judy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stronger, faster, farther. Sort of sums up the spectacle of the Olympics, where athletes have trained for years to push themselves for that one moment of greatness. We have a whole lot of greatness right here in Prescott with the Roughriders, Yavapai College’s highly esteemed soccer team. Under the direction of Michael Pantalione, the school’s first and only head soccer coach, Yavapai developed the most successful Junior College soccer program in the nation, capturing 67 titles including seven national championships, 17 final four finishes, 38 regional and district championships along with 22 conference titles. That means Pantalione has the best winning percentage of any collegiate men’s soccer coach! Wins? 496. Losses? 40. Pretty amazing.
Soccer has become the number one sport among youth in America and is ranked the number one sport in the world. It is played by millions and watched by billions! How did this whole game get its start, you might wonder. It seems about 5,000 years ago, the Chinese were kicking a ball around, followed by similar activities in ancient Rome and Greece. It was a rough sport. So violent, that in 1331 King Edward III of England banned the sport due to “horrific injuries,” King James 1 of Scotland also outlawed soccer in 1424, proclaiming “na man play at the fute-ball.” Well, no mighty kings are going to stop men playing their beloved “futbal.” “Cut off my head – but don’t keep me away from my futbal,” was the common man’s rallying cry.
Of course, the early game of soccer was more of brawl. Kicking, poking, punching, biting and eye gouging were a few of the “acceptable” practices. We have evolved, Dear Readers, as Coach Pantalione has assured me that none of this is allowed in today’s game. Of course, a few players may throw some punches on Twitter, but not on the field. Evidently, it was England that established the early rules in the mid-1800s, the Cambridge Rules of soccer. The sport became more “civilized” and many of those rules still stand today.
Native Americans played soccer, on the beach at what is close to the Jamestown settlement. With 1,000 players, and the goals a mile apart, it was considered the highlight of tribal celebrations. In Alaska and Canada, native Eskimos played soccer on ice and called it “aqsaqtuk.” The balls were leather stuffed with grass, caribou hair and moss. Legend has it that two villages once played on ice with the goals ten miles apart!
Do you have a child or grandchild between the ages of 5 and 16 who would like to learn more about soccer? The Roughriders and Coach Pantalione are providing free soccer clinics to help kids learn the game, hone in on skills and have a great time doing it. Century 21 is the sponsor of the United States Men’s and Women’s Soccer Teams for the next two years. Our own Prescott Century 21 Arizona West is sponsoring Yavapai College’s Roughriders and the free soccer clinics coming up on Aug. 10 and 11. (Details below).
The Olympics are upon us. What better way to celebrate our athletes than to come out and watch our own world-class soccer team help the future “futbal stars” learn to love the game. While we cheer for our favorite Olympians and look for the U.S. women’s soccer team to go for the gold, we can get in the Olympic spirit without having to fly to London or turn on the television.
Oh, and Coach Pantalione promises no poking, biting or punching! Let the games begin!
FREE SOCCER CLINIC FOR BOYS & GIRLS AGES 5-16
Members of the 2012 Yavapai College Soccer Team, in conjunction with Century 21 Arizona West, will conduct two free youth soccer clinics at the following locations:
Ken Lindley Field – Friday, August 10 – 6:30 to 8:00 pm
Mountain View Park, Prescott Valley – Saturday, August 11 – 9:30 to 11:00 am
All boys and girls ages 5-16 are eligible to participate. No registration is required. If possible, participants should bring their own soccer ball. In addition, a coach’s clinic will take place in conjunction with the player’s clinic. All participants receive a special souvenir gift! Come meet the 2012 Soccer Team Members!