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Nov, 2021

We are Thankful For our Children, For our Community, For our Club, and For our Coaches

Happy Thanksgiving Ogden Soccer fans and families!

We are Thankful for….

Today as we gather in thanks for so many blessings in our lives, I want to share a message of thanks to our community of Ogden Soccer fans, families, and parents that give to make it possible.

For our children - We are now going into our third year as an Ogden born soccer club with a deep community focus centered on our children and positive development. We are so thankful to the youth in our community and their parents that have supported initiatives and a long-term vision to help lift the pathway for every child to participate and provide the best experience forever forward building stronger community and lasting friendships. Together we are the only soccer club proud to represent Ogden across the front of our jerseys on over 700+ uniforms. Together we can all be proud to represent the values in our community with a club of teams that are bringing the best of camaraderie, sportsmanship, and competition along the Wasatch front. Ogden Soccer coaches and players embrace the highest qualities as ambassadors representing sport and our beautiful city.

For our community - Let there be no misunderstanding, Ogden Soccer was not an easy transition for youth soccer around these parts but those in the know all knew it was best for the kids. We also knew this could be good for our coaches, families, and the future helping increase school spirit and community pride. We knew it was going to be difficult for others to embrace change. We were living during a time where the commitment to school teams were no longer emphasized due to a priority set on comp teams only there had become a disconnect in community and youth inclusivity. Our children, schools, and greater community was not the collective priority. With assets being sent out of the community instead of utilized for our local children many of us sat around a living room to share ideas and contemplate on how to better serve our children, schools, and community going forward. We evaluated how we could improve the current model for youth soccer and decided we were going to implement a foundational change for how our kids and the kids in our community would experience sport. The potential to serve more families was realized and Ogden Soccer was born. We made these changes knowing that it was in the best interest of future academics, health, and community but also knew it was going to be a challenge.
For our club - To be successful we will need to be consistent and know our priorities. To be sustainable for future generations we will need to provide value and ride the phases of growth even if subject to dislike. Going through the phases of growth for a new sports club, first they may laugh, second they may dislike, and third, but only if we provide a community value, they will join and adopt Ogden Soccer as their own.
When we started in 2019, we were told we could never provide entry level soccer and in addition be able to compete at Division Level or higher play without paid coaches. To be honest many in the soccer eco-system laughed at Ogden for even trying to bring programs together making it affordable for everyone to participate. We were not deterred centered on the children and guided by community values we used the game of soccer to build a stronger community. Now after two seasons of progress we have gone from 200 players to over 700 players. Ogden Soccer is the only club where a child and new soccer parent can come and learn starting with our Little Lions for our 3–5-year-old players. At 5-10 years of age, they then graduate into our G.O.A.L Soccer for recreation soccer having fun meeting friends and learning the sport. For those that seek further competition they can continue to develop with our many competitive teams and compete up through Division One.
A sure sign that as a community club we are succeeding. We entered a competitive soccer environment with just one team in 2019. That team went undefeated and was advanced two divisions to find a more competitive bracket for those 2009 athletes. Two years later we now represent near 200 competitive players and many competitive teams.  After a fun filled Fall 2021 our division-1 2009 Girls took 3rd place, our 2010 girls took 1st place, and our 2011 girls took 1st place going undefeated.

Because of our coach’s commitment to a vision of serving our community and the youth we are seeing programs accepted by the community as a whole and more families join Ogden Soccer. This is the first school season where our first teams (2008-2009) are now playing for their school teams. Because Ogden Soccer believes supporting our school team’s student athletes are encouraged to play for club and school with no one being put in a position to choose one over the other. With an overwhelming number of players representing both their club and school teams we saw the bond of community lifting school team participation and community pride. This season as our Little Lions, G.O.A.L Soccer, and State Comp Teams expanded we simultaneously saw our local junior high school teams have fun excelling with Ogden Soccer student athletes representing the majority of players on the top school teams.
For our Coaches - With so many achievements and positive energy coming from our coaches we are thankful to you for helping make the best experience possible for our children. You represent the best of Ogden Soccer, and your leadership makes a positive difference every season. You all give endlessly to the teams you coach and the families you support often sacrificing your plans and personal time. We know that every year it is getting more difficult to find parents that want to give their time for free to coach our children and we thank you for giving back to the young leaders helping develop life skills that they will carry beyond sport into everyday life. You coaches make the difference by caring and for all the children the same way you care for you own child. Together we honor our coaches and are thankful for everything you give to our children, community, and club. You are Ogden Soccer.
Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours.

Steven Van Wagoner                      
Coach - USSF (D)
President - Ogden Soccer

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