Youth Soccer Club creates community every Saturday

May 7, 2023

The Wareham Youth Soccer Club doesn’t keep track of who wins or loses. 

According to Club President Bob Catarius, the club is less focused on competition and more focused on community.

The club’s first games on Saturday, May 6 brought out about 20 to 30 families. 

Eleven-year-old Shea Gropman loves to play goalie.

“It’s really rewarding if you save the ball,” Shea said. “But if you let a ball in…”

“He takes it pretty hard,” his mother Jennifer said, finishing her son’s sentence.  

The club, which meets every Saturday in the spring, consists of three divisions led by volunteer coaches. The Barcelona division hosts kindergarteners and first graders, the Liverpool division hosts second and third graders and the Dortmund division hosts fourth, fifth and sixth graders.

All teams are coed, which parent Shayne Fiorentino said allows the kids to “learn and play together.”

“They’re really on the same level,” Fiorentino said of the boys and girls in the club. “They really play neck and neck.”

The club, founded in 1986, previously played behind the Decas School building before new fields on Charlotte Furnace Road opened in 2020. The new fields were the product of volunteer efforts from coaches, parents and board members.

Jennifer appreciates how clean the fields are.

“The parents don’t leave any trash behind,” she said. “It gets the kids out on a Saturday so they’re not at home playing their video games.”

About 225 kids play in the Wareham Youth Soccer Club, including three travel teams; one for third graders, one for fifth graders and one for high school seniors. Most of the players in each team play together year after year.

Roy Veugen, senior team coach and vice president of the Wareham Youth Soccer Club, said that his players have known each other since they were 8 years old.

“It’s a way for them to connect with their peers in something healthy,” Veugen said. “Particularly after COVID, everybody was so disconnected.”