SoccerNation is spotlighting youth clubs from all over these United States of America. Powered by soccerloco, the SoccerNation Club Spotlight Series will take us all around Southern California and to special soccer spots across the country.
Next up, we come back a little closer to home (soccerloco’s home that is) as we’re joined by Vickie Norris, the Club Administrator of the Poway Vaqueros.
SoccerNation: “First off, tell us about the area your club calls home. Poway is a unique community in this area. How does Poway relate to the rest of San Diego County? How does it differ?”
Vickie Norris (Poway Vaqueros): “Poway is a fantastic community filled with many wonderful people. We are nicknamed the “City in the Country”. Lots of families have been here for multiple generations so even though we are not a small town per se, we have that small town feel in a lot of ways. We are a very strong and well bonded community with a great environment for families.
SoccerNation: “What is the history of your club? When was it founded and what do you see as some of its most important moments thus far?”
Vickie Norris (Poway Vaqueros): “The club was founded in 1975. We had an amazing run with our Super 20’s team which was a great time in Poway soccer. This season we had our Girls 2002 win State Cup and our Girls 2001 team get to the semi-finals of State Cup which was a huge accomplishment for both teams.”
SoccerNation: “What are some of the main ways in which you’ve seen your club grow over the years?”
Vickie Norris (Poway Vaqueros): “Poway Vaqueros has a strong sense of community that brings families together. Lifelong friendships are built and enhanced among not only the kids but among the parents within our club. We develop our players on and off the field. We have developed a great Junior Vaqueros program to start some younger players developing skills early on. TOPS soccer has become one of our favorite programs as well. That program has grown and had a lot of success which is great. We are growing and changing as the climate of soccer changes so we look forward to our new direction.”
SoccerNation: “What would you say are some of your club’s biggest strengths?”
Vickie Norris (Poway Vaqueros): “We pride ourselves on developing our players. It is amazing to watch the growth of a player over time here. We focus on not only developing the players individually but the team as a whole. Our coaches have played at very high levels and know what it takes to compete. They bring a wide variety of experience and coaching styles to the table. They are such a supportive group to each other which shows on the field. It is great to see the coaches work together for the good of the whole club not just the individual team. We are also fortunate to have some fantastic soccer fields here in Poway! We have a great group of passionate community members who support us as well.”
SoccerNation: “What are some of the biggest challenges you face in running your club?”
Vickie Norris (Poway Vaqueros): “We are not a ‘super-size’ club. We try to balance the growth and advancement of our club without sacrificing the community feel we have and the relationships we are able to build here because of the fact that we are not too big. We don’t want to lose our personal touch but we also need to continue to grow. We are always working to find that balance.”
SoccerNation: “What would you say is the mission of your soccer club?”
Vickie Norris (Poway Vaqueros): “Teaching our youth the proper strategies and techniques to further enhance their soccer careers as well as teaching them the essentials of being a good and respectful person in the real world. Be humble in victory, gracious in defeat.”
SoccerNation: “What are you most proud of in regards to your club?”
Vickie Norris (Poway Vaqueros): “Again, I go back to true development. With Poway Vaqueros, we take great pride in developing our players. We teach them not only the game of soccer but life skills that will carry them into their futures. We have a great community here and we support each other and our teams.”
SoccerNation: “How would you summarize your relationship with other clubs in your community, your region, and beyond?”
Vickie Norris (Poway Vaqueros): “There are a lot of clubs around us, which can be both a good thing and a challenging thing. The ultimate goal is for kids to play soccer, so we want to build relationships with all clubs so that the kids win. We have good working relationships with the clubs in our area and we will continue to build up the soccer community in any way we can.”
SoccerNation: “Do you think there is a 5-year plan in place for American club soccer? If so, what is it, or better yet, what should it be?”
Vickie Norris (Poway Vaqueros): “Hopefully it’s to develop a style of play that enhances strength, speed and technical skills so we can be properly equipped to keep up with the rest of the world, and be able to compete at both the women’s AND men’s top levels of play.
SoccerNation: “What has working with soccerloco been like for your club?”
Vickie Norris (Poway Vaqueros): “For Poway Vaqueros, soccerloco has been great to work with. We love to support local companies that truly care about our communities.”
SoccerNation: “Last question, Vickie. What do you love most about the game of soccer?”
Vickie Norris (Poway Vaqueros): “It is a universal language. You can go to a park almost anywhere in the world and just play the game of soccer with strangers. The players work together to achieve one goal and everything else falls away. The competition, the teamwork, the friendships on and off the field, the bonds between teammates, the challenge of learning how to compete as a whole with so many players with different personalities and styles of play… All of this makes soccer the most wonderful game in the world.”
(Stay tuned to SoccerNation.com for the next edition of our Club Spotlight Series, powered by soccerloco.)