Our family’s experience with soccer began a couple years ago.
We signed up our daughter who was then just 4. We bought her little pink cleats, socks and a ball. However, when we arrived at the first practice, she took one look and refused to go on the field.
She said she was scared, so of course, we didn’t push her much. We did go to every game though. As frustrating as it was at the time, we laugh about it now and she is still proud of the trophy she has from that season. She was the MVB: Most Valuable Bystander.
This past Saturday I’m proud to say, our daughter hit the field again as a first grader in what the Parsippany Soccer Club calls Division 6—and she loved every second of it. She wore her new uniform the entire weekend and had a big grin on her face.
My 4-year-old son plays too. My husband is coaching him and 13 other 4- and 5-year-olds. Their sponsor is Sizzle Tans and they are playing sizzling hot soccer that’s fun to watch.
The organizing group behind all this action is the . The club was founded in 1973 and its mission is to promote and govern the game of soccer here in Parsippany. The PSC clubhouse IS at 59 Baldwin Rd., the small white building next to the Police Athletic League building.
“I am most excited to be involved with and to witness so many kids playing soccer in the local community,” said PSC President Dave Ferguson. “[Soccer is] a beautiful game. It’s fast-paced and exciting and provides a thrill a minute.”
PSC does an incredible job. It strives to create opportunities for children of all ages and abilities to play soccer year round. The wee ones, preschool and kindergarten age, have the opportunity to play in the fall intramural program, a winter indoor league and to sign up for spring clinics.
Ferguson said PSC has a primary goal: “Keep them active, keep them playing and keep them having fun.”
Not only does PSC generate enthusiasm for the game of soccer and organize a very large and well-run league, it also stimulates the economy with its annual “Pride Tournament.” Held every Columbus Day weekend, this tournament brings more than 5,000 players plus their parents and fans to town for the weekend.
Ferguson told me the club is also looking for other ways to get involved with local businesses and give back where they can. This year is the first year it has partnered with the Parsippany Chamber of Commerce to present every player with a “Parsippany Rewards Card” that provides those families with discounts to local shops and merchants.
In addition, the club helps with the cleanup and maintenance of the fields it uses. All the fields are owned by the township and the Board of Education, but the club has purchased much of the soccer equipment on the fields and strives to help keep the fields in good shape.
Every year, PSC also awards six $1,000 scholarships to graduating high school students who have been active in the club.
This fall, there are more than 1,500 kids ages 4 to 15 playing in the club’s intramural and travel programs and another 200 to 300 kids are expected to play in the travel programs in the spring. The intramural program hosts children who are in pre-K (age 4 and 5) all the way up to 9th graders and is organized into nine divisions with more than 80 teams.
PSC also offers travel programs for people from ages 7-20 who want to play more competitively. Players are chosen for this program through a tryout process that begins in early December. Games run April through August.
Another travel division called “Super Y” is for players who want to compete at the highest levels. They compete against teams from throughout the region (Maine to Virginia). Their season begins after the school year and the players are ages 13 through 20.
Currently, registration is closed for fall soccer. Parents who want their younger children to play should stay tuned to the club’s website for information on next year’s registration and travel team tryouts.
The club is also trying to form a couple Division 2 teams for kids in grades 10, 11 and 12 and creating an opportunity for high school kids who don’t play scholastic soccer but want to have fun on an intra-club, intra-squad team to play for the Rockaway Valley League. For more information, please visit the club’s website.