Category Archives: Competitive

CSC heads to NoVa for high-level soccer

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“I thought my shoes might melt,” said Nicole DiIoia, a player on the Christiansburg Sharks, after finishing a game in sweltering conditions in Herndon, Va.

Four travel soccer teams from Christiansburg got to experience high-level soccer in Northern Virginia as both competitors and guests of DC United.

Playing against a strong Herndon soccer team on an astroturf field on a hot Saturday afternoon required a special degree of commitment by not just the players but the parents. The heat radiated upwards from the field on a sweltering 95-degree day in Northern Virginia. Even so, the teams were playing hard, and competing on equal terms.

Just three short years ago, Christiansburg Soccer Club did not exist. The club was developed not just to expand the opportunity for recreational soccer, but also to develop players who could make the high school teams more competitive. From that start in spring of 2009, there will now be six teams from Christiansburg playing competitive soccer in the fall.

The Northern Virginia trip was scheduled to give the players a glimpse at soccer at its highest level. The four Christiansburg teams participating in the weekend games on Aug. 4-5 were playing Herndon Soccer Club teams that compete in a league that has almost as many teams (500) as the Christiansburg Soccer Club has players (700). One of the Herndon teams ranked as high as 4th in the nation last year. The skill level of the teams and the commitment required to compete at that level were an eye-opening experience for both players and parents.

Caitlyn Caudell, a rising fifth-grader at Belview Elementary and a member of the Christiansburg Mustangs, was impressed by the trip and the competition.

“I enjoyed getting to know my teammates better by hanging out with them on the trip. I also learned a lot by playing two very good teams from Herndon,” she said.

After the Saturday afternoon game, the teams had very little time before they hopped on the Metro to make their way to RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. to watch DC United play the Columbus Crew in a Major League Soccer game. As the players soon found out, nothing moves quickly in Northern Virginia. The 30 miles from hotel to stadium took more than two hours due to construction and traffic. As a group, the parents were all glad they did not live in the gridlock that is NoVa.

From the kids’ eyes, however, this was an exciting part of the experience.
“Getting to high five the DC United players was really cool, but riding the Metro was the best,” said Jeston Hendricks, also a member of the Mustangs.

The high fives almost didn’t happen. The teams were all invited by DC United to be part of the pre-game activities on the field, and to be part of a high-five tunnel to welcome the players onto the field, but the traffic delays put them at risk of missing that special part of the weekend. The teams arrived in the nick of time, and the players were escorted onto the field.
The players were too young to know the history of RFK Stadium, but the history was not lost on the coaches. Mike Adams, coach of the Christiansburg Griffins, marveled at how the teams were making the same walk onto the fields that had been done in earlier times by Redskin greats such as Joe Theisman and John Riggins.

The DC United game itself was a source of wonder for players and parents alike. The ease with which the players controlled and passed the ball showed everyone the beauty of the sport when well-played. The visiting team was clearly overmatched, and a number of penalties were called against the Columbus Crew as they tried to use physical play to overcome their deficiency in skill. In the end, the players got to see the home team win, and made their late-night trek back to the hotel for as much rest as possible before their morning games.

The Sunday morning games did not feel any cooler, and were played in the shadow of high-rise buildings and traffic. David Dunkenberger, whose daughter Logan was on the field playing for the Christiansburg Griffins, put his finger on what was so special about the Northern Virginia experience. He looked around and remarked about the activity that was all around us. At this one elementary school, there were seven soccer fields, and five of them were filled with young players, teen-aged players, and even an adult-league game. This experience was being repeated over and over again at so many of the fields in Northern Virginia.

The Northern Virginia families were doing something right in their concrete jungle: They were showing a level of activity that was an idea worth taking back to the New River Valley. The weather, which still felt hot enough to melt our shoes, we gladly left behind.

Article published in The Burgs, August 14, 2012. View article here

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Weather alert

Properly dressed, the children should enjoy playing both tonight and tomorrow morning. Tonight is expected 50s, and tomorrow morning is expected 40s. If a sweatshirt is going to be worn, please wear it under the uniform so that the team shirt is visible. Bring along gloves and a ski hat, so that the child’s enjoyment is not impaired by weather.

Parents tend to get as cold (or colder) than some of the children because they are standing around for an hour. If you dress the family for freezing temperatures, it is much easier to get rid of a layer if you get warm.

The key for this weekend: properly dressed.

Weather cancellations – Policy

With rain expected today, this is a good time to refresh all families on our rain policies: For practices, the coach for the individual team makes the decision but must not play within 30 minutes or thunder or lightning. If a coach ignores this, parents should pull their player and contact me. This is an unwaivable SAFETY consideration. Two Texas soccer players were killed by lightning earlier this year. Whether the field is wet or not, no teams should be practicing or shooting at a goal in the penalty box unless it is a scrimmage. Teams can move and secure goals in other locations. This is the only way to keep the key part of the field in good condition for the entire season. CSC will make the call on games. For the Friday night games, a decision will be made approximately 4:00 p.m. For Saturday morning games, the decision will be made approximately 7:00 a.m. For games in Blacksburg, check www.nrusa.org.

Cancellation policy

We play in the rain UNLESS (1) there is thunder/lightning, (2) damaging to the fields, or (3) combined with cold weather that makes it too uncomfortable to play. If your game is in Blacksburg, check http://www.newriverunited.org for cancellations.

We post updates on cancellations at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday or by 4:00 p.m. on weekdays.

Required equipment

Every player at every age division is required to wear shin guards. Shin guards are to be worn under the socks. Each player should also have an age appropriate ball (Pre-K through U-8 size 3, U-10 size 4, U-13 and above size 5) and water at each game and practice. Cleats are recommended for U-8 and above and are optional for Pre-K and K.

Call for volunteers

Call for volunteers: CSC provides a framework for youth to play soccer, but it needs parent support to make it work. Below is a listing of a number of areas where parents can volunteer this season. Some are calls for one-time help; others are for the season.

1) Signs: If you see that a CSC sign is still up and can take it down along with the two posts and take to our office at 70 E. 1st St, please do so and e-mail me where it came from.

2) Fields: CMS2 and the U18 field will be marked at 9:00 a.m. Saturday, weather permitting. 3 volunteers are requested.

3) Trash: Here is a bureaucratic head scratcher: CMS will not empty trash cans on CMS fields. If you have a truck, and see a full trash bag sitting next to the fence, please consider loading it up to take to the dump. DO NOT complain to the school. We are fortunate to have the fields and do not want that jeopardized.

4) Lining fields: If your child’s team has a Thursday night practice on CPS, FBE, or CMS, consider contacting me to paint the lines. It is easy once the lines have been originally marked,m and gives a parent something to do during practice. Teams practicing on Thursdays need to make way for the line painters.

Finally. we have record numbers and significant field limitations. We are working to remedy that, with GSBC field scheduled for full opening in the spring, and a renovated Depot Street field expected to open next fall. Until then, space is tight, so please cooperate with teams that you are sharing space with.

Thank you.