The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

October 23, 2012

Soccer City

The Register-Herald

— Just 10 days from now, several hundred soccer players, and hundreds more of their fans and family members, will converge on Beckley for the 25th West Virginia State High School Soccer championships.

Thanks to the wonderful facilities at the YMCA Paul Cline Youth Memorial Sports Complex, Beckley has become known as “Soccer City” in West Virginia. Dozens of soccer events, with hundreds of games, held there annually back up that claim, and during the first weekend in November, the best of the Mountain State’s high school teams come to town with the goal of leaving as state champions.

When high school soccer teams take to the pitch every August, they have but one goal in mind — get to Beckley. Many lifetime memories are made on our soccer fields, and Raleigh County has proved to be a great host.

No other place in West Virginia can boast of having a bona fide soccer complex capable of staging the championships at one central location. And no other place offers up the kind of hospitality we provide either.

But it comes with a price.

For nine consecutive years the local business community and dozens of volunteers step forward to provide the financial support and man-hours needed to stage this two-day event, and once again the time has come to back this important function.

All of the expenses, which exceed $10,000, are the responsibility of the local organizing committee and must be raised through donations. The gate and program sales go directly to the WVSSAC.

Both sponsors and volunteers for the 2012 soccer championships are still needed. If you can do something as a business or individual to help make sure we continue to be “Soccer Central” for West Virginia, please contact Committee chairman Dave Laraba by phone at 304-252-9872 extension 303 or by e-mail at

Nov. 2 and 3 will be a busy time, and it’s another opportunity to let our southern hospitality shine.