Sports
Wabash United kicks off 2nd season

With one league championship already in its back pocket, the Wabash United Futbol Club is getting ready to, literally, kick off its second season.

Competing in the North East Select Soccer League (NESSL) of the Indiana Soccer League, the Wabash United 13-and-under (13U) squad captured the Spring title with eight wins and two ties.

That 13U group will compete in the 14-and-under (15U) age group this Fall, with play scheduled to begin Sept. 9, according to Solomon Vanderpool, president of the WUFC. The club will also field a team in the 12-and-under (12U) age group and one in the 10-and-under (10U) age group.

In its first season, the local club fielded two 13U teams and one 11U squad. The U13 Maroon squad took second place and the White team finished fourth. The 11U did not fare as well, finishing in the bottom half of the standings.

Over the winter in The Plex League, held at an indoor arena in Fort Wayne, the 13U combined squad also took second place.

Other clubs competing in the NESSL include (with number of teams in parenthesis) are Angola, Columbia City, Fort Wayne United, Huntertown (2), Huntington United (2), Jay County (2) and The Plex (3).

The three teams open play Saturday, Sept. 7 in Fort Wayne and then travel to Warsaw to play Columbia City Sunday, Sept. 8. Wabash United’s home openers will be Sept. 14 against Huntertown. Games begin at 1 p.m.

Wabash United plays its home games at the Morrett Sports Complex’s “Field of Dreams.”

Emily Guenin-Hodson will be assisting Vanderpool with the 14U team this season, Shellie Stout and Mark France will guide the 12U squad and Vanderpool and Seth Denney will coach the 10U. Stout, who also serves as secretary/treasurer of the WUFC board, was one of the coaches on the 11U squad this past season.

Other board members of the not-for-profit organization, are Keisha Wright, Tim Drake and Scott Greiner.

“Our goal is to play as hard as we practice,” Vanderpool said. “This season’s 14U squad has been together for four or five seasons now going back to YMCA soccer and the Wasonoma (Wabash-Southwood-Northfield-North Manchester) team.

“We’ll have several 13-year-olds on the squad, but I think we’ll size up pretty well with the other teams. We’ve proven we can compete with the best (during the first year in the league).

“We play respectable soccer,” he continued, “and the team has been complimented by (opposing) coaches and referees for their sportsmanship. That and their outstanding attitude (toward the game) is what stands out about us as a club.”

Vanderpool noted that the players’ devotion to the club and the game is witnessed by how many have participated in soccer camps around the area, notably Indiana Wesleyan University, FC Barcelona (Indianapolis) and the Demarcus Beasley camps. Beasley, from Fort Wayne, was a standout on the U.S. Men’s World Cup team for several years.

Since forming, it has obtained IRS tax-exempt status. Its budget is funded by private and corporate donations and grants. It is currently seeking funds to replace the two goals on its field at the Morrett complex. Anyone interested in making a tax-free donation can contact Vanderpool at 765-667-9348 or at soccerteam7676@gmail.com

It also has a Facebook page, Wabash United.

Posted on 2019 Sep 10