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March 11, 2011 > FACES donates to prep soccer programs

FACES donates to prep soccer programs

Submitted by Fremont Adult Co-Ed Soccer
Written by Vickie Lyell

Fremont Unified School District's five high school soccer programs will start the 2011-12 season with an additional $5,000 in their coffers, thanks to a generous donation from Fremont Adult Co-Ed Soccer (FACES), a Fremont-based, nonprofit adult soccer organization.

Representatives from FACES met with players and coaches from John F. Kennedy, Irvington, Mission San Jose, Washington and American high schools' soccer teams last week at the Fremont Main Library to present each school with a $1,000 check, which will directly benefit the girls and boys soccer programs at FUSD's five high school campuses.

"This money can be used to purchase new uniforms, balls or equipment, attend training events, or to cover tournament entry fees," explained FACES Team Coordinator Frank Arevalo as he prepared to hand out the checks last Tuesday night, March 1. "It's up to each team to decide how the donation will best serve its players,.

Dan Christensen, assistant coach of Mission San Jose's varsity soccer team, was pleased to receive his program's funding boost, and was still considering ways to use the donation.

"We're looking into a few different items," he explained. "There is always the need for soccer balls for training and game balls for our matches for all our teams."

Christensen added that the FACES contributions come in at a crucial time, as most all of FUSD's sports programs are now almost solely funded by Booster Club fundraising activities and parental donations.

"All of the Fremont Mission Valley Athletic League high schools are so grateful for FACES' continuous support of our programs. We only wish there were other organization like them to help with our under funded sports programs."

This is the second consecutive year FACES has contributed to Fremont's high school soccer teams, the genesis of these funds coming from the organization's annual adult soccer tournament, which draws over 40 co-ed teams every August to compete at the Central Park Soccer Complex.

"As the popularity of our August tournament has grown in recent years, so has our revenue," explained FACES Treasurer Scott Williams. Concerned how severe cuts to California public school budgets were impacting high school athletic programs, Williams and the rest of the FACES Board of Directors decided last year to assist high school teams in their own community. "We are very proud to be able to donate as much as we have to these programs."

Kennedy boys varsity coach Gus Garcia and Booster Club parent Karen Murray expressed their teams' gratitude to FACES Tuesday night by presenting Williams with two framed Kennedy soccer team photos showing both the boys and girls varsity teams wearing the new uniforms that last year's FACES donation helped the school to purchase.

FACES annual summer tournament, celebrating its 24th year in August, provides an additional source of revenue for Fremont's high school soccer programs. According to FACES August Tournament Director Ken Arno, athletes from each campus take a turn working the tournament. This Aug. 6and 7, it's the Irvington players who will assist FACES with tournament administration.

"They'll set up nets, register teams, sell tournament T-shirts and water, and collect game cards," Arno explained. "It's fun for the kids, and they end up making about $1,200 at the end of the weekend to take back to their school."

FACES, in addition to hosting their annual August tournament, participates in the Old Saturday Stumblers Soccer League (OSSSL), an organization that runs year-round adult soccer programs in the East Bay, and is comprised of over 40 teams from Oakland, Alameda, Pittsburg, Castro Valley, San Lorenzo, San Leandro, Dublin, Pleasanton, Livermore, Newark, Union City and Fremont.

OSSSL, a coed league, has competitions at various local outdoor fields with teams competing on Sundays in the Open League (age 18 and up), and the Over-30 League (30 and up). Irvington Community Center's all-weather turf field is the site of OSSSL's popular year-round Friday night Masters (age 40 and up) and Senior Masters (age 50 and up) division matches.

For more information about OSSSL, visit www.osssl.org. Anyone interested in assisting FACES raise funds for FUSD athletic programs through their annual August tournament can call Arevalo at 510-552-9794.

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