New season, new fields for Wareham Youth Soccer Club
The fall soccer season began for some of the town’s youngest athletes on Saturday.
And the games weren’t just the first of the season (and first ever for the youngest players), but the first to be played on the new Wareham Youth Soccer Club fields, located at Westfield at 98 Charlotte Furnace Road.
Over the past two years, Wareham Youth Soccer volunteers and board members have been hard at work to clear the land at Westfield, get the irrigation up and running, and seed and grow a lush lawn for the players.
When the work is complete, the facility will include five soccer fields of varying sizes.
Rick Stuchlak, the head of referees for the club, has led a good deal of the work. He has been involved with the club since his children were young, and his granddaughter played her first game on the fields on Saturday.
He said that when the club secured the lease for the property from the town, there were about 25 scrub pine trees growing on the fields, which were otherwise filled with waist-high brush. The property had been town-owned baseball fields in the past, but was allowed to go to seed. The only entrance was at the softball fields next door, and the irrigation system was inoperative.
“It was a lot of hours out here,” Stuchlak said. He noted that a number of volunteers donated time, money, materials, and labor to the project. Stuchlak also thanked the town, and noted the impact of Community Preservation funds.
“We’re very grateful,” Stuchlak said. He added that Bob Catarius, the club president, was instrumental to the project’s success.
Because of covid-19, the club is ramping up programming slowly, maintaining social distancing, and mandating masks.
Roy Veugen, the club’s vice-president, noted that the slower start allows the club to see how the new facility works -- is there enough parking? Do people have trouble turning to get on or off Charlotte Furnace Road?
And he was very happy with the results.
“The kids are loving it, and we got great weather today,” Veugen said. “Normally you have kids who don’t want to play, but today, everyone’s like ‘Let me play!’”
Catarius was glad to be back coaching the youngest players in the club, who are four years old.
“It’s fantastic,” said Catarius. “We’re so excited to offer the kids an opportunity to get out and play.”
For more information about Wareham Youth Soccer, or to volunteer to help out, go to www.warehamsoccer.com.