ETSU has had several attempts at beginning a club soccer team for players at the student level. In the past few months, a group of students has expressed an interest in starting a club team and maintaining this team which will play against other college clubs.
Ben Sanders and Victor Shem are the two students who began the process and are organizing it now.
“The ultimate goal for the team is to win the national championship,” Sanders said. “Our short term goals include getting a steady practice schedule and playing a few friendly games by the end of the semester. At the very least I hope that we can all grow closer and improve together as a team.”
Sanders said the two biggest struggles Shem, and he had were writing the constitution and creating a budget proposal. That took around 5 hours to create, then revisions and alterations were needed.
While only in the earlier stages of development, several steps have been taken to begin the lengthy process of legitimizing the club team.
“Yeah, I’m really excited to be part of a team again. After high school soccer ended, I tried to keep playing during the summer and winter breaks, but there wasn’t really a team to play for during the school year,” Shem said. “Ben Sanders, who I had played with during club soccer in Knoxville, had a similar outlook, and after we started scheduling indoor at the CPA and seeing how good the quality was, we decided that we should start a club for those who didn’t have an opportunity to play with the school team, but still wanted to play at a high level. I look forward to building a strong team and competing with the best schools in the Southeast.”
First, the team had to get registered with the Student Organization Resource Center in order for them to be recognized as a student organization.
Next, the students met with Intramural and Sports Club Graduate Assistant Mick Ballart to discuss the budget and goals for the club.
The students now wait for approval from the Campus Recreation Department.
Once that is confirmed the club team will be granted provisional charter status.
At the end of the year the club will be granted a fully active charter status and will then be able to receive funding from the Campus Recreation Department.
With the amount of students at ETSU who are interested in playing soccer at more than just a recreational level, this is a very exciting idea.
Sanders said “We have a very large pool of players to choose from and I have confidence in them to perform well.”
The men’s soccer team at ETSU is a Division I NCAA team and can be rather hard for students to join who wish to play this sport competitively at a higher level.
However, because of the reputation that the men’s soccer team has created of excellence and skill, many students have been drawn to the college with aspirations to play at such a high level, but have been disappointed or unable to perform at such a high level.
This is the perfect atmosphere for the creation of a club team because this gives those students who want a chance to play competitively a great opportunity to do so.