All About Paola Soccer Club
Paola Soccer Club is an entirely voluntary organization. All Board members are volunteers, as are the coaches. The majority of each player's registration fee goes toward field maintenance and referee fees.
Paola Soccer Club (PSC) began during the 1980s as an outlet for soccer players in and around Miami County to come together to learn and play soccer. Paola and Miami County were growing and no organized soccer existed at that time. In the early years, 20-30 players participated, playing against each other and other surrounding cities. During those years, PSC had played teams from many other cities . . . Louisburg, Wellsville, Princeton, Ottawa, Drexel, and Pleasanton to name a few. Today we still play all but Ottawa.
Our early games and practices were held on the same grounds and fields that our practices are held today which include the Industrial Park, the football field located between Paola High School and Sunflower Elementary, and at the north end of both the Paola High School parking lot and north end of the Paola High School football field. We began by using just the north end of the high school area. As we grew and added older players, we were fortunate enough to have the City of Paola allow us to use the Industrial Park area. In the mid 90s we added our “munchkin” soccer program for players 4-5 years of age. We also began offering soccer for older players 14-18 years of age. Then, and now, we share the space with Paola USD 368 during football and track seasons.
In the mid 1990s as our club grew and grew, it became apparent that the space we shared with the high school and at the Industrial Park was not going to be adequate to accommodate our growth. At that time, we acquired acreage of swamp land at the south end of the Miami County Fairgrounds and began developing it into what today is a high quality soccer complex. It did not happen overnight. Almost all work was done by PSC volunteers – grading the land, filling in low spots, seeding and fertilizing, and hoping for rain. In 1999, we moved into our new complex. Today we currently have fields for all age groups . . . from U6 through U19 and high school. We also have adequate space for more fields should our growth continue. Over the past 2-3 years we have been accommodating approximately 300 children in both our spring and fall soccer seasons.
It was also in the mid 1990s that our club begin having dreams of a high school soccer team. Much time, effort, fund raising, continued player development, etc., was done in order to bring this dream to reality. At that time there were a limited number of other high schools in our district or classification that played high school soccer. In the fall of 2003, our dreams became a reality as Paola High School added soccer to its fall sports program. The team played a limited schedule of only 8 games that year. In the fall of 2006, the Paola High School soccer team will play in 16 games. In 2006, Paola High School will play Louisburg, St. James Academy, Baldwin, DeSoto, Eudora, Ottawa, Gardner-Edgerton, Fort Scott, Topeka-Hayden and Pittsburg.
As in our early years, PSC is run and operated as a completely volunteer organization. We are reliant upon these tireless volunteers to administer our club, prepare our fields, put together and equip our teams and fields, man our concession stand, and provide the man hours for the countless other activities that are required to maintain our organization. Without all of these volunteers, PSC could not exist. PSC is a 501(c)3 charitable organization which is primarily funded by the registration fees we collect each season, sponsorship fees collected from our sponsors (whose names adorn your children’s game shirts) and grants from the Baehr Foundation. Without the Baehr Foundation grants, our registration fees would be significantly higher, our equipment would be older and in worse shape, and our soccer complex would be less developed.
Looking forward, PSC hopes to acquire a long term lease on our soccer complex in order that additional grants might be requested from various soccer organizations to add lighting, better parking, irrigation, etc., to our complex. As Paola and Miami County grow, other sports outlets will continue to be developed which attract our youth. PSC hopes to continue to grow while providing a low cost soccer program that can co-exist with the many other opportunities available to our youth.
We want to thank those who have volunteered and supported our efforts over the years and encourage others to volunteer in the future. We also want to thank the Miami County Fair Board for leasing us the grounds our soccer complex occupies as well as all of our many sponsors. You’ll see their names scrolling across the top of our website. Please support them as they have supported us. Finally, we would like to thank the Baehr Foundation for its generous support.
Remember. . . it's for the kids!