Enjoy the latest newsletter below!
Hello OBX Storm Soccer players, coaches, parents, family, and soccer fans. We certainly hope everyone is enjoying another outstanding summer at our beach ( we are all so lucky ) and we cant wait to kick off our new 2015-2016 travel soccer season. We like to take this opportunity during our off time to update our members on the highlights of last year and what to look forward to and what we will be working on for this season.
The 2014-2015 season was other than the winter/spring weather, another great year for our club and a lot happened that we were very proud of. Here are some of the highlights:
OBX Storm Soccer, as a club, including associate players and our Hatteras group had around 180 kids in our County and the surrounding areas growing and developing as young men and women and soccer players and just plain having fun. Besides their athletics every award ceremony I go to at the schools almost all our players make honor roll and win academic achievement awards. They are smart, healthy, and very well rounded athletes. That is something we all should be very proud of as I know I am. We have an amazing group of volunteers on the board and on the fields that make our brand of soccer as competitive as ever. Our Director of Coaching, Steve Smalley is on the fields almost daily encouraging and helping coaches and players, James Taylor has filled a shortfall for the club and taken goalkeeping education and is helping our keepers in group training sessions, and our coaches go above and beyond the call of duty training and mentoring our kids which all adds up to our successes on and off the fields. I would easily say, and we don’t keep these stats, that our teams as a whole win 60 if not 70 percent of the time we play in leagues and tournaments in Va and NC and then factor in 2nd places and we are a club to be reckoned with. Figure in we are one of the smallest clubs with less resources and facilities to train, yet we compete with everyone we play. Just shows what great things can happen when people work together so thanks to all parents, players, and volunteers.
Our club had 2 players make the NC Olympic Development Region 3 team and got to travel to South America to play in a tournament, Trent Powell and Graham Smalley. We also had 20 plus players, boys and girls, who tried out and made it, most through all tryouts, and several who made it to the regional tournaments and camps at the end of the season. The FFHS Mens Soccer team, all of which played Storm under Steve Smalley for years, went to the State Championship game in Raleigh for the 2nd year in a row. This clearly shows that we are a legitimate club in the state and through our system of teaching a high quality game any player with determination and willingness to work hard on their own can reach the highest levels.
In this same light we need to mention one of our older and special players, who along with his family have helped push soccer to a higher level as far as play and interest in our County and surrounding areas. We are very proud to announce that Graham Smalley our most decorated player in the County, will be playing soccer his senior year in Raleigh for the NC Railhawks U17/U18 academy team. There are 70 academy teams in the USA a lot of which are programs set up by pro teams such as the Railhawks (DC United for example has an academy team as well) for which Graham not only had to be invited to try out but after 3 tough sessions with 75 other players he was offered a spot on this years team. The Railhawks last year were 3rd in the Nation and the current 2014/2015 U17/U18 team placed all 17 seniors in high level college programs. Congratulations Graham from the whole club! We wish you all the success in the world in the game you love and thank you for sharing it with all of us. Most importantly to me you will be always remembered as a true gentleman and ambassador to the game who unselfishly has not only inspired an entire soccer community but also gave back to our community by always being there to help our kids. We will enjoy watching you at the next level and beyond.
OBX Storm Soccer started and formed 3 new boys teams and are on the verge of starting a new girls team for the 1st time in years. Eliot Jones, Jason Brieholz, and Greg Sherman started the new boys teams and had very successful rookie seasons. Steve Smalley has been working hard recruiting and organizing a new girls team with great interest from the soccer community and we will be proudly announcing a new team soon.
This summer through our DOC, Steve Smalley, we had constant affordable top rated clinics available through Steve’s Coastal Soccer School, Futsal on the beach for the first time, and for the 2nd year in a row had the Coastal Cavalier Camp featuring 2 players, Kyler and Sheldon Sullivan who started and played on the UVA Men’s 2014/2015 National Championship team. He also this year featured 2 Women players Anna Sumpler a rising senior at Western Albemarle HS in Charlottesville who has already committed to play at UVA in 2016, and Marina Clarke Sheldon who is the starting central midfielder for Lynchburg College who were D3 National Champions in 2014. Wow I cant believe I just wrote those 2 sentences as it is absolutely over the top crazy that we had this type of soccer talent on our beach for our little club. All the players were great with the kids and I know all who attended had a great time playing with and learning from some of the best players in the Country. Our club showed up strong with lots of participation and if you didn't make this year keep an eye out for next as its an experience the kids will never forget and may never get to do again. Many Many Many Thanks Mr. Smalley.
Finally with the leadership of our Marketing Director on the Board , Hardy Peters we took on the task of working with Diane Bognich to keep the OBYSA spring soccer alive and healthy. One of Storm’s missions in the community is to keep soccer available to everyone whether Storm or travel related or not so I commend Hardy for reaching out and taking this on. Soccer is clearly the most participated sport on the beach and not every kid needs or wants to travel and OBYSA has always been a great environment for them to play and learn. Most of our players and coaches also were involved with OBYSA from time to time and it’s a great program. We also would like to thank some of our members who also stepped up to help Hardy and Diane whose efforts behind the scenes makes it all work. They are Adam Day, Steve Albright, Allyson Sproul, Melissa Morgan, Laurie James, Barrett Crook, Don Evans, Laurie Taylor, Steve Smalley and all the parent volunteers who helped with coaching and the snack bar and all other general tasks that come up. Thank you all very much from the soccer community.
As you can see we had a lot of great opportunities available to our members last season and it showed in their development and successes on the field. We will be working hard this year to maintain all these programs and working on enhancing the club even more while at the same time continuing to be one of the most affordable clubs in the state. Here are some things to look forward to in the 2015-2016 season. OBX Storm Soccer now offers classic level of play to our teams and coaches who want to play at a higher level. We previously only offered 2 of the levels of play in North Carolina, recreation and challenge, and our proud to offer all 3, that now gives our teams more of a chance to play in NC leagues verses VA leagues. A big thanks to our Vice President on the Board, Barrett Crook for encouraging the club, doing the leg work with the State and for being the first team to take his U14 girls to the Classic level and playing league this fall. We wish you, Chris and the girls much fun and success and thank you for being brave enough to test those waters and giving the rest of us a model to follow. In an effort to involve our business community more and to help offset uniform cost we now allow businesses to sponsor our teams and put their logo on our game jerseys. Its a unique chance for local businesses to help locals kids and families in their community and also get a little something in return as far as advertising. If anyone is interested please contact your coach for more information.
We have a new website up and running, OBXStorm.net, and encourage all of you to make it a favorite and visit. We also need our members to help with current news and highlights of your teams and players. So please help us encourage your coach to submit a team pic with some brief history and keep it updated with team news, function announcements, team pics of play and other news to keep it fresh and worth visiting. Go on look up your team page and help us enhance it. Storm also wants to thanks Eliot Jones for building the site for us and both Eliot and Jeff Scott for maintaining it and running it. Another example of our members pitching in to make us a better club.
We have one of the most dedicated, hard working and unselfish boards an organization could have. I have already mentioned some but also need to mention the rest. We have the best registrar in the State, Suzie Neiderlander, who relentlessly works hours at home and on the fields to keep us carded and legitimate with NCYSA. We have the best Treasurer in the State, Lisa Murphy a CPA, who along with her assistant at the firm Molly Marks keeps our money safe and accounted for. Richard Greenlee has dedicated his time to Storm and soccer for years keeps us documented as our Secretary. Megan Cipriano is our Fundraising Director and has done an outstanding job for the club. Her last fundraiser she made, along with a lot of help from most of our teams and plenty of volunteers who also donated items and helped run the yard sale $3,000. She is gearing up for her fall club fundraiser so keep an eye out for details and help again if you can please. The funds raised help all of us. Thanks to all these people for your dedication and hard work for our kids. Last but not least we have to thank Ross Cipriano and Cliff Hoggard again for the awesome repairs at the firehouse fields. The grass is sweet, you 2 are incredible, thanks.
In closing as you can tell we are working hard and will keep working hard to make this the best club possible for our children and future children. Please help us by keeping in mind that this is all of our club and will only be successful with the support and help from our members and community. If you have an idea that could make us better or more fun reach out and let us know as we are always open to improving the experience. If you can volunteer at functions, have soccer experience or knowledge or plain just want to be involved we want you to. We can be reached through the website or contact your coach to find the right path. One last thought to leave you with. Let’s all constantly keep in mind whenever we as a group or team are training or playing we must always carry ourselves in a positive, encouraging, and sportsmanlike manner. Let’s show our fellow soccer communities that although we play a fierce brand of soccer our players, coaches, parents and families are ladies and gentleman of the game with respect to opposing players, coaches, officials, other teams and the sport. The kids are watching and soak it in so lets give them a good soaking of gamesmanship and respect for all. Lets be the best club on and off the fields.
Happy Soccer always,
President OBX Storm Soccer