-- 4/30/18 --
From a weather standpoint, it doesn’t seem like we’ve hit spring yet, but for many teams the spring season is about two-thirds complete. Aside from what’s been happening on the field (which is the most important thing), here is what’s been happening off the field:
From a weather standpoint, it doesn't seem like we've hit spring yet, but for many teams the spring season is about two-thirds complete. Aside from what's been happening on the field (which is the most important thing), here is what's happening off the field:
• April Legere (03G team) accepted the Board position of Parent Representative. Former President Greg Shultz was slotted into the new Coaching Representative role. That position will be filled by election of the coaches in August (i.e. start of the new soccer year).
• Scott Collins will join our Board as an advisory member. For those that don’t know Scott, he is a former Comets player (90B) and coach. He was an assistant coach for the Razorbacks and more recently Florida Gulf Coast University. He is now working for a college recruiting service. Scott will bring a lot of insight to the Board, not just collegiate insight, but also what successful clubs in other parts of the country are doing.
• We are piloting an “Elite Player Program”, which is just being done for the girls side at the moment. This is being done with players selected for additional, high-level training with Franklin McIntosh. With the decline of the Arkansas ODP program, we are seeking a way to provide the top players the extra challenge they need to keep developing. Ultimately we hope to develop a program that can challenge the top players to keep improving, and offer incentive for all players to strive toward a higher level.
• The biggest news, however, has been the announcement of the Arkansas Premier Clubs alliance. If you haven’t read the press release, please do so here. This is a tremendous move for our club, and for competitive youth soccer in the state of Arkansas. I’ve been involved in youth soccer in Arkansas as a coach and administrator since 1993. This is the first time the top clubs have all joined forces for the good of the players and the game. We will still be competitors, but will also work together to improve the environment for players, coaches and referees! Of course everything looks great on paper. We now have to execute together to make this successful. I’m sure it will require some changes and improvements over time, but if the soccer minds of the clubs all work together, the benefit for the players will be tremendous!
That’s all the news for now. Here’s what is on the horizon for our players and teams:
State Cup for the younger teams happens May 19-20.
Tryouts for next year are May 29 and 31. Don’t forget to register online (click here).
Our high school players will finish their HS seasons. Hopefully many of them will finish in Razorback Stadium playing for a State Championship.
Don’t forget Comets Appreciation Day at JBGB, on Sunday, June 3, from noon – 6pm. This should be a great day for current players, families and alumni. Many games and competitions are planned for that event.
Enjoy the rest of your season, and best wishes,
Welcome Spring and sunshine...and rain!!! Hopefully teams are starting to come together for outside practices and even games as the spring season is upon us! We're looking forward to a great season!!
I wanted to share that our Comets Board has been working extremely hard during the “offseason” to implement a few positive changes that will only help as we move forward as a club. New bylaws are in the works and currently with an attorney. As I mentioned in my last letter, we are also restructuring the Board, which will now consist of 7 voting seats and a dynamic number of advisory seats. Two of the voting seats will be annually elected positions, one to represent the coaches, and one to represent parents.
We will fill these two positions for the remainder of this soccer year, and then re-elect them in August. Thereafter they will be elected by the soccer year. The coaches’ representative will be elected at a coaches meeting. The parent representative will be selected from nominations made by the teams. Each team may (i.e. not mandatory) nominate 1 parent from their team as a candidate. You can make this nomination via email to Samir (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Again, this is an interim process for the remainder of this year. Next year we will have a parent committee who will elect one member to sit on the Board.
As a Board we place a lot of emphasis on fiscal responsibility, and we operate on a lean budget. The financials are reviewed at every Board meeting. Our Treasurer, John Wright, has done a great job of redoing our financial reporting, making it more easily understood. Below is a pie chart that represents our last fiscal year (Jul 2016 – Jun 2017). You can see from this chart where the club money (i.e. not team money) is spent over the course of a full soccer year. As you can see, we operate with very low overhead. Last year 86% of our expenses directly impacted our players and coaches (i.e. not Aministration/Office).
The pie chart shows a full year because a partial year does not give the complete picture. Many expenses are frontend loaded while others (like coaching) play out over the course of the year. However, this year is following the same financial pattern.
SPRING SEASON –
The spring season is kicking off for our younger teams. Many teams were active over the winter months with indoor leagues and/or training. Hopefully everyone has a great spring season!
On Sunday, June 3 our club will host an event at JBGB, in Fayetteville. This event will be for current and past players, coaches and parents to get together and enjoy some fun and fellowship at that great venue. More information will be forthcoming.
Based on fall results we currently have 3 teams that have qualified for Southern Regionals, 1 that has qualified for President’s Cup Regionals, and 2 that have qualified for US Club Soccer Nationals. Hopefully we will add to those totals with the younger teams this spring.
Best wishes and enjoy the spring season!
NEXT LEVEL WINTER LEAGUE CHAMPIONS!
With the end of the year approaching I wanted to update everyone on recent and ongoing efforts in our club, and celebrate our successes over the last year.
To start with Greg Shultz has stepped down as the Board President due to his very demanding work schedule. Greg did a fantastic job in that role over the last 2 years, and we thank him his service and leadership. The Board asked me to assume the President role, which I agreed to do on an interim basis. This is my 3rd stint as President of the Comets, and I think this is a critical time for the club. We must prepare for the future, while preserving the values that have allowed us to successfully serve the youth of NWA (and beyond) for the last 24 years. We are spending the offseason reworking our bylaws and Board structure to do just that.
2017 was a great year for our club. Now is also a good time to reflect on the club’s successes and highlights in 2017. These are just a few:
- For the 2016/2017 year we had 7 State Champions and 3 Runners-up.
- 6 Comets teams represented the club and state at Southern Regionals, and 2 represented the club and state at President’s Cup Regionals.
- The 99 Boys went to the Finals of Southern Regionals, losing 1-2 in the U18B Finals. They are only the 3rd team in the history of the club to advance to the Finals of Southern Regionals.
- The 04 Girls won the U14G division of President’s Cup Regionals, and then represented the club and state at Nationals in Florida. They are the first team in club history to advance to a US Youth Soccer national tournament.
- Our club joined the newly formed Red River division of the National Premier League and 13 of our teams participated in that league, which boasted teams from AR, OK and NTX. The 03 and 04 Boys teams have secured the top spots in their age groups, which will qualify them for US Club Soccer’s national tournament in July, 2018.
- Samir continued to expand and develop the Arkansas Club Development League (ACDL) which served teams from U11 to U18.
- 7 of our teams won their respective divisions of the ACDL, and several other finished as the top AR team in that league.
- The club provided 6 college scholarships to outgoing players to help with their freshman year tuition.
- 4 of our current 99 Girls have committed to play in college next year and more are still going through the recruiting process.
- Franklin McIntosh joined the club as a Coaching Director for our younger ages (U8-U12).
- The girls side of the Junior Academy expanded greatly under the dedicated direction of Shenan Boit and Shauna Bowen.
- We administered 3 free summer camps that provided good community service, as well as exposure for our club and expanded registration for our youngest age groups.
- The club hosted a very successful community food sale for the Alvarado family, a family that has been part of our Comets family for years, and is battling lengthy medical issues.
Before we know it the spring will be upon us. Our younger teams will crank back up, and our older players will move to their respective high school teams. The younger teams will play their State Cups in May, as will the 99 Boys who will return some current college players. Also in May the HS-aged teams will reconvene and prepare for upcoming summer events, including those going to regional tournaments.
With all that ahead of us, I hope everyone has a peaceful, relaxing holiday season.