I played soccer as a kid in the Richardson Soccer Association. The teams were formed from each elementary school and the games were played on the schools’ soccer fields. Hey, they had grass and 2 goals, one at each end. And most of the time, the 3 pipes which formed the goal frames were mostly at 90 degree angles… mostly.
Heck, we really didn’t care about all that. We were having fun, getting outside, running around, kicking the ball and just being kids. Of course, that was long before the organized competitive clubs and leagues of youth soccer started in the Dallas area.
Obviously, a lot has changed in almost forty, uh, that is, all those years. During the 1970s, 80s and 90s, the DFW metroplex saw many quality soccer complexes created and developed. Although most of my games were played on less-than-stellar city fields, I also enjoyed some of the best soccer fields in North Texas. More recently, just before I moved to San Antonio in 2007, I played a couple of seasons at the Pizza Hut Park soccer complex in Frisco, Texas.
I know what you’re thinking: why is he writing about soccer fields in another city? Please bear with me and you will have the answer.
One recent Sunday afternoon, I drove my car into a nearly full parking lot, found an empty spot and parked. It was a nice, warm sunny afternoon with a slight breeze. As I walked toward the main gates, the area was teeming with activity: moms, dads, kids and coaches – all going in all directions.
The tall metal fence and the main building blocked my view from what was happening inside. I maneuvered through the throng of people, to the other side of the gate, and found that I had emerged in San Antonio’s newest “Soccer Heaven”, the STAR Soccer Complex.
A few minutes later, I was joined by Michael Macias and his wife Gina, and James Hope. We were there as representatives of the Crocketteers to meet with Dr. Edward Sakiewicz, the Director of the complex. It was a busy day for Dr. Ed as there was a youth tournament being held at the fields.
We sat in Dr. Ed’s office as he described some of the long range goals for the park. When he finished, we presented him with a special Crocketteers plaque for his office.
Dr. Sakiewicz then took us on a tour of the complex. We walked outside onto one of the fields. I slowly panned my view over the 14 fields – some of which had games being played. The sidewalks, the light stands, the sounds of parents cheering. A wave of nostalgia swept over me as I remembered playing as a kid.
Dr. Ed introduced us to a few local soccer legends who were there coaching their teams. Clearly, the STAR Soccer Complex had made a big impression on them, as well.
So what does all this have to do with my soccer experience in Dallas?
San Antonio has joined the other major cities in Texas with its own first-class, top-rate soccer complex. These fields are as good as you’ll find anywhere else in the state.
But it’s not only the quality of the fields that makes this place so important. The big picture, the big plan is very special. Click here to find out how the STAR Soccer Complex supports Morgan’s Wonderland.
While San Antonio plays soccer, the real winners will be the visitors to Morgan’s Wonderland.