St. Clairsville Area Soccer Association
February 7, 2021
As an outgrowth of the St. Clairsville recreation department summer program, petitions were signed by almost 300 people to start a high school program. A high school club program was started in the fall of 1994 with Mr. McCall and Mr. Stewart (high school teachers) who agreed to be advisors with Alcwyn Elliott and Dave Hahn coaching. I n the spring of 1995 St. Clairsville High School agreed to a high school boy’s team with Mr. Alcwyn Elliott and Mr. David Hahn hired as coach and assistant. Dave Hahn became the head coach from 1996 to 2007 with Chuck George, Scott Ellison and Paul Ruge assisting at times. Then Luke Nelson and Dave Hahn co coached, with Luke Nelson taking over in 2008. Gary Watts became head coach in 2009 with Wes Stoner his assistant in 2011, then Luke Nelson assisted. New coaches for 2019 are Mehdi Ayan head coach and Jacob Hilton assistant. In 2020, Jeff Roberts was coach with Kevin O’Grady as assistant.
A group of interested citizens met on 11/15/95 to discuss the formation of an organization to support soccer development in the area. This had followed a successful Fall Season with U-12 and U-14 teams organized by a group of citizens. Starting with the 1993 and a full year in 1994 this interested group of citizens had organized U-12 and U-14 teams to play with Wheeling and other area teams.
As a result of this first formal meeting to discuss the status of soccer in our area, it was decided to explore opportunities to develop an organization to support soccer. Impetus to form the organization increased as conflicts over use of community facilities left those interested to plead for use of empty open areas. The facilities used at that time to the current were owned by other entities whose generosity allowed the sport to grow. In short, it was realized that safe properly landscaped fields were not available within the community.
In the fall of 1996, drafts of an organization structure were circulated. At that time we had about 76 youngsters participating on organized soccer teams. At the January 29, 1997 meeting John Tomlin reviewed the draft bylaws. Initial volunteers for the trustee organization were: Rick Ferrell, Denny O’Donnell, Ned Neuenschwander, Chuck George, Dave Hahn and Matt Norman. It was agreed that John Tomlin would also be an initial trustee for organization purposes. Membership was to be $1 for the person making the contribution. At this same meeting it was decided that flags, goalie uniforms and long-term alternate fields were immediate needs. At that time we also began working with the Belmont County Fair Board to use their parking and fairgrounds area for fields. Membership is now $5 to cover communication expenses.
At the February 27, 1997 meeting the bylaws were again read and the bylaws approved. Trustees and officers were elected with Alcwyn Elliott added as a trustee. Officers were Dave Hahn President, Chuck George Vice President, Alcwyn Elliott Secretary, and Rick Ferrell as Treasurer. The organization decided to utilize the United States Youth Soccer Association North as its umbrella organization, which would provide guidance, liability insurance, along with other resources and training. Denny O’Donnell volunteered as our first registrar with Cathy Vaughn later becoming our first official registrar. A Steak Fry was planned for May of that year to support the equipment needs and begin a fund for field development.
In the years since additional trustees have been elected with Vickie Vensel, Tom Bonnette, Joe Kubik, Greg Ray, Jack Groves, Paul Ruge, Greta Prosser, Dave Castle, Shelli Bartch,Tim Starks, Dave Lewis, Ernie Banks, Gene Mozena,Chad Thornbury and Jeff Merrill. Greta Prosser was the Registrar after Cathy Vaughn with Tom Bonnette serving briefly. and Jacki Kennan was registrar for 6 years. While still an active board member Joe Kubik passed away in 2020. Current Registrar is Kristina Scott. Current Board members are Dave Hahn President, Brian Kralovic Vice President, Rick Ferrell Treasurer, Joe Schmidt Secretary, Greg Ray, AJ Smith and Will Perry and Iggie Padilla.
Through the years three full size goals were manufactured including the one for the High School teams. Currently the organization has under-10 goals (3 sets), under-12 goals (2 sets), full-size goals (2 sets) and (16) Pre Travel goals under-6/under-8 size goals for play. Uniforms, corner flags, balls, practice and training materials have been added. We have assisted individually persons in taking formal referee and coaches training and had even sponsored some training organizing and running the indoor program with the rec center which comprises about 120 youth.
Occasionally we have been approached to help organize areas close to Belmont County and in 2007 we began a Capstone 4 v 4 tournament and OV 4v 4 tournament which was continued for 6 years but volunteer support and earnings made it difficult to justify..
Two things important to the development of soccer occurred in 1999. The St. Clairsville High School agreed to a girl’s high school team and field development began to get serious. Kevin Marsh was the first girls coach with Beth Hahn assisting then Bill Hilton was coach, then Joe Kubic, next Scott Dutton with Dawn Weidman Assistant then Wes Stoner and Ernie Banks Assistant. Then assistant Jaclyn Dutton, Current coaches are for Girls Wes Stoner head and Brock Ferrell and Logan Young Assistants. On January 26 of 1999 a committee was established to look at potential field development. Each year the committee got more active and in November of 1999 began actively contacting and visiting sites. The subcommittee of Chuck George, Tom Bonnette and Cliff Schroeder were the active individuals on this committee. Later in the fall of 2001 Greg Ray and Rick Ferrell were added with Cliff Schroeder leaving the area. The committee initiated a public information piece in the paper that attracted some attention from several property owners. Each opportunity was explored in the spring of 2002. John Dutton with Capstone Properties began contact with the committee and board in the spring of 2002 and in the fall of 2002 Capstone Properties deeded 23.8 acres at the intersection of County Roads 80 and 82 to the Soccer Association.
On February 20, 2003 the St. Clairsville Area Soccer Association proudly announced the ground breaking of the new soccer complex. To be formally known as the Capstone Soccer Complex this facility when completed will have a lighted field, concession, covered eating areas, walking trail and in complex watering system for the fields along with bleacher seating. Initially the Capstone Properties will provide rough and fine grading of the area with over 90,000 cubic yards of dirt being moved. There was a 2nd phase and two more full size fields were completed. A indoor/outdoor Pavilion with seating for 200 has been completed, There is one large 40 by 50 storage facility two storage buildings, covered outdoor grill, stone entrance sign, 1400 ft of trail, and 40ft flag have been completed and protective barrier has been put around the field. Parking is available around all the fields and although originally thought to be adequate, now still requires cars to park in grass areas. Additional improvements to the Pavilion have been an cover on ceiling, water and sewage and kitchen/bathroom fixture. Four and Five foot metal fencing has been added around all the fields. An additional parking lot was added through a 2 acre gift by Capstone Holding prior to their selling property around the complex in 2015.
Numbers of Children and Parents involved with Soccer
In the early years of summer soccer through the rec center there were about 100 to 130 children involved. Games and schedules were makeshift as the numbers for each week varied. There was about another 130 involved in the rec center indoor program run by Alcwyn Elliott and Senier Callis. These numbers were steady for about 10 years prior to the community development through the association. There was for 8 years an adult team from St. Clairsville playing in the area adult league. Recently there have been adult voluntary games during summer on Sunday afternoons with Phil Cole and now Spenser Connors organizing. Here is a break down of the actual number of players involved and the progression to the current day the following numbers are presented:
We have explored the opportunity for low level club teams and we l have the use of additional fields at our new Capstone Complex. The Fair property used for U-6 and U-8 will no longer is available to us in that year. We believe there will be stronger soccer in the western part of Belmont County. We would like to see some more adult teams use the complex during the summer. Union Local began a high school program in 2017 with Isaak Curtis as their first coach. We hope that at least one or two more high school teams are formed in Belmont County. This will bring residents from the region and state to our beautiful soccer facility.
Numbers prior to 1994 were 262 combined in each of the programs (recognizing that some players are playing both summer and indoor). In 2002 the number in the programs was 556 (recognizing that some players play in more than one program). Conservatively with parents, grandparents and friends there will be another 1596 individuals visiting the soccer sites. In the year 2019 we are projecting that more than 750 individuals will be participating in the various programs and with parents, friends players tournaments and workers over 3500 persons will be visiting on more that one occasion. In the year 2021 we have 1 U-14 ,2 U12 , 3 U10 and up to 8 pre-travel, and Kiddie Kick fields. Additional use would include anyone who would use the complex for walking or for the purpose of renting the very nice Rotary Shelter.
The goals of the organization have been to promote and financially support the development of soccer in the Belmont County area. Activities through the current time have been the procurement of equipment, fields, coaches, referees and resources to help in the training of soccer players. We continue to sponsor soccer camps in the summer. There was a small camp in 2013 to 2015. The soccer referee and coaches training is a continuous activity that has now included more than 70 individuals. Each group of new coaches needs to be given information and training in the sport. Increasingly we are finding college players and adults who have played the game and are willing to volunteer. We would also anticipate seeing more high school programs. The Capstone Tournament started in 2007 and included players from the 7 different counties in Ohio and West Virginia. This was successful for 6 years with the addition of a high school tournament but was stopped do to excessive volunteer needs and less than expected revenue. Union Local added a High School program in 2016 and we try to assist them with training younger players. We will try to assist residents of the Barnsville area in additional development there.
We had an official walking trail and currently encourage those interested to walk around field perimeters . successful. The walking trail after several years was abandoned because of lack of use and new fencing around the fields incorporated the walking trail area. Fencing was completed around all fields in the fall of 2018. The complex was mined underneath and we have gone through 3 years of rehabbing and renewal which concluded Spring of 2018. Sewage treatment and water was completed in 2017 so that complex can be fully utilized. We still plan on lights and bleachers for at least one field. We may need to expand on the drainage system to provide better field drainage. Originally the Pavilion was completed with a donation from the Noon Rotary and other gifts by individuals and in kind labor. In 2013 a forty foot flag pole was erected( this was a donation by the Ferrell family in recognition of James Ferrell a long time volunteer), This was completed with landscaping and lighting by Mr Hendershot who completed his Eagle Scott project in the fall of 2017. The fields will continue to be improved. Rentals of the complex pavilion will continue to increase with a goal of at least 35 rentals per year at $200 to $750 per rental dependent on numbers of days they tie up facility and whether whole pavilion is used. It currently includes a fireplace and very nice barbecue pit which is covered. Roll Down doors were added to make the complex more useable on windy days. As funds become available we will continue to landscape the perimeter. We will continue to progress with the Bang Board rentals and may eventually add a third board. The pavilion is scheduled to be expanded to provide improved ability to host more and larger groups. A capital project just beginning is lighting the fields which will begin this summer. It is likely to be at least a 2 year project.
The danger in putting together a history like this is that someone or organization may have been overlooked so please just email Dave Hahn if there is a question about information given here.
February 7, 2021