Sports
Metro Rage turns 25

By Josh Sigler
Jsigler@thepaperofwabash.com

About 25 years ago, families from Northfield and Southwood wanted to have competitive soccer for their  high school students. Neither school had a team, and families like the Coffmans, Kramers and  Downeys, were involved in getting Metro Rage started.

The club turns 25 this year.

"It's ironic because Sam Coffman's grandson plays for me this year," current head coach Jeff Hobson said. "He did that to get his kids an opportunity to play, and now his grandkids are playing."
Hobson took over the high school program in 2008. He oversees the high school and junior high programs, and Solomon

Vanderpool oversees the younger age groups.

The program is co-ed, meaning boys and girls play together.

One of the biggest challenges Hobson faces is scheduling opponents.

"We're playing King's Academy, a Christian school out of Marion (Tuesday, Sept. 18)," Hobson said. "We play a lot of the Three Rivers Conference JV teams. We go to Muncie and play a home school team. We play a home school team out of Lafayette. Travel isn't terrible. We try to control because we have kids doing other sports while they're playing soccer. I have parents who have other kids playing school sports. But, yeah we travel a little."

At the high school level, Rage is made up of players from Northfield and Southwood, The junior high teams consist of players from Wabash, Northfield and Southwood.

The program receives no funding from the schools in which its players come from. That can make it difficult to run some times.

"I've become pretty good at figuring out what it costs to do this over the course of a year," Hobson said. "My players pay about a $200 fee to play on this team. And, I have some families and businesses that have been good to us. I have businesses of former players who give me money every year. Pizza King did a fundraiser this year. So ,we've been able generate some revenue to go along with the fee the players pay."

His high school assistant is his son-in-law, Ben Makin, while the junior high coach is his daughter Brittany Makin.

"Probably one of my favorite things about Rage soccer is getting to coach with two of my kids," Hobson said. "My daughter Brittany played for the (former) WaSoNoMa and Rage clubs from fifth grade until graduation."

Hobson wishes his kids had the opportunity to play for a school team in a sectional, and things like that.

"I think the coolest thing, I look back and I've been doing this for 16 years now," Hobson said. "Some of the kids I started with are almost 30 years old. It's cool to see what those kids are doing after high school and after soccer. We've just been blessed to have really quality kids. We have a girl who played four years of high school soccer and she’s in Vet school at Michigan State. I have kids in pharmacy school at Purdue. My son is at Penn State at grad school. To see what these kids are doing after all this -- some kids are running their family farms, their own businesses. I just had a roof done by one of my players."

The future of Rage soccer has a lot to do with consolidation, Hobson said.

"But, we're going to continue to play until these kids have a school team to play on," he said. "My dream a couple years ago would be that they would be playing on a high school team. But, we'll keep doing this until these kids have an opportunity to play for their high school."
 

Posted on 2018 Sep 25