PROVINCIAL QUALIFIER - Lacombe Panthers McKenna Smalley was looking to deke Ponoka’s Kyla Hansel during the provincial qualifiers in Ponoka. Lacombe Minor Soccer sent three teams to provincials. Jeff Heyden-Kaye/Ponoka News

Lacombe Soccer Club finishes a successful season

Managing 400 kids doesn’t come easy and leaders are grateful for the support they have received

Lacombe Minor Soccer just wrapped up their league championships in Lacombe and is sending three of its teams to provincials.

“It wasn’t a great weekend for us in Ponoka, but traditionally we are always sending some teams,” Junior Director of Lacombe Soccer Club Marc Roy said.

“We have our U12 girls, the U18 boys and we are waiting on the whether the U18 girls are going. Every year we are competitive and we are fielding strong teams with strong players and good coaching. We are always in the mix for the league championships or a spot in provincials.”

Roy was pleased with the way the season progressed and the numbers in Lacombe Minor Soccer continue to grow.

“Overall it was a really good season; we fielded U10-U18 for both boys and girls. With everything we had 400 kids play,” he said.

Roy noted the league is dependent on time put in by parents and volunteers.

“We are always fielding competitive teams and we are happy for the support of families and the passion of players, as well as the support of the City and schools for the fields,” Roy said.

“It is a strong soccer culture and there is a history of good soccer. We have a lot of great parent-coaches in Lacombe. That is a big part of it and our families are strong and they love soccer.”

Coaching and managing 400 kids doesn’t come easy and Roy is grateful for the support they have received

“We rely so much on our volunteers, from our board members who are organizing to all of our coaches and officials who are mostly volunteers,” he said. “We are so thankful for their dedication, interest and their good work through the season. That is what makes it great for the kids having great coaches and parents who are positive.”

Positivity and inclusivity are the key focus for the Lacombe Soccer Club and Roy said he enjoys being able to bring that spirit to other communities.

“The culture of our club is very positive and when we travel elsewhere we tend to keep things very positive,” he said.

”We welcome any player that wants to play. There are no try-outs or anything – anyone who wants to play soccer is welcome to join the club and will be put on a team.

“They are given the kind of coaching they need to improve their skills and I think players who are joining later then some also find ways to improve their skills and have a great year.”

Roy explained a deal with Ponoka allowed Lacombe to bring in some import players.

“We did a switching with Ponoka, we had some players join us and we sent some to them. They really appreciated being able to come play in Lacombe and the good experience they had here,” he said.

Roy also commented on the relationship between the Lacombe Soccer Club and the high school teams that many of their U18 players compete in.

The CACHS Knights recently won the high school championships and the Lacombe Composite Rams finished fourth.

“It is pretty neat because in the high school league, those guys play against each other but then they come together to play together with the Lacombe Soccer Club,” Roy said. “That is pretty cool because through the week they are enemies; and then they are friends on our club.”

Roy was also pleased with the club’s expanded facilities this year.

“We got use out of our new fields in Woodlands, this is the first year we got good use out of them and they are coming along nicely. Our fields at Michener are still going strong as well,” he said.

“We are looking ahead to our indoor soccer program, and registration for that will be in September. The season for that runs from October to March.

“It is really well-attended and we are always looking for volunteers and parents to be coaches, volunteers, managers or board members.”