By Sam Conner
A large group of soccer supporters met last week in Winslow, and were advised by outgoing Regional Commis-sioner Terri Cirre that he and most of the current board were not going to be able to continue another year in their posi-tions. He called upon the approximately 100 persons in attendance to volunteer for board positions, as coaches, referees or to do any of the work necessary to run a soccer program.
Janelle Riedl, area director and acting sectional director for Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, spoke during much of the meeting with advice, and advocated that if the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) was allowed to not play this year, the community would probably not see the sport return. She is from Prescott and very active in the orga-nization.
She encouraged people to volunteer to help in a variety of capacities, and promised to help Winslow succeed in keeping soccer in the community. She said that the city probably had assets it was not aware of, and should look for them and use them. She gave several suggestions as to how this might be done.
The call for volunteers was answered as a number of people volunteered to help, fill board positions, referee and coach. Sharon Greenwood volunteered to replace Cirre as regional commissioner for one year. There was a person who volunteered to serve on the board and prepare to succeed her in that office.
Most of the audience seemed to want Winslow High School to add soccer as a sport it competes in.
Athletic Director Don Petranovich was at the meeting and said that it was too late to attempt to add the sport this year, as leagues and schedules are already set. He did say that it could be considered in the following year, but that the one percent sales tax proposition would have to pass, or the school would likely be unable to add sports and would probably have to reduce some of the existing ones.
There are a number of schools in the area that have soccer teams, including Holbrook, St. Johns, Snowflake, Show Low and Camp Verde. It is likely that Winslow would play in a league with those teams if a soccer team were added.
Riedl said that if Winslow did not have enough volunteers to continue, it could possibly consolidate with Holbrook, but there were some problems and extra expenses that would come with that solution. As there were apparently enough volunteers, that is unlikely to be necessary.
The Winslow AYSO strives to keep expenses to a minimum and keep fees for players low. The concession stand is a major fundraiser. Players are issued soccer uniforms for the very reasonable $35 fee to play.
The meeting was deemed a huge success by most attendees, as questions were answered and a sufficient number of volunteers agreed to help with the program.
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By Sam Conner