For the last week of school, we had some warm, sunny weather and several pick up games on our baseball/soccer field. Construction of the real thing starts very soon. Check back for more photos of bulldozers, dirt and loads of dust!
Stuck in the snow and on other decisions. Still waiting the answer on a grant and still the snow has not melted. At least, it's not snowing outside. More news as they come...
4th of May and still snowing...Some kids want to kick the ball at the gym tonight.
This winter has been really slow. Still packed with snow and freezing temperatures. Waiting on snow to melt, so we can start some pick-up games before the school closes. And, of course, start construction...
Driving down to Anchorage with Nenana Lynx athletes who are participating in the Native Youth Olympics. We have a strong team. Should be lots of fun!
Great meeting yesterday with the Mayor, school officials and community members. Solutions to persistent problems provided. Please keep sharing this link in social networks and soon I will update this page to inform everyone on what was decided in the meeting.
Many thanks to the awesome supporters of this effort. Students will have big smiles in their faces tomorrow at school:)
Just finished Nenana's Health Fair. We made smoothies and talked about soccer and soccer fields. From April we will organize some community meetings to update and get advice from Nenana residents.
Unfortunately, we did not receive a grant for $3,000. However, we are still going going strong. On Monday we will send out new proposals for funding. Keeping sharing this link with family, friends and acquaintances, or even leave comments of support in this page. Thanks!
We will be applying to some grants to cover our expenses. Students have already started writing letters of inquiry. Go Lynx!
Spring break is over and most of the students are back from their home village. The effort resumes.
Today students decided that we will start playing pick up games as soon as the snow melts!
Slow weekend the start of our Spring Break. Taking some students today in Fairbanks to play soccer at the SRC in the University. Little steps closer to our goal. Many thanks to Rusty Buffalo FC from Fairbanks for their support.
Another photo thanking the Sounders fans who have been right here with us from the start.
Great response once again from people. So close to a 20%!
Posted our new photo up. Thank you all so much for your support. We are trying to gather the necessary funds and we are optimistic that this summer we will have our own soccer field!
Today's photoshoot did not happen due to weather. Good old' Alaska!
More good news on the way!
Really close to the first thousand. Tomorrow updates with photos from Nenana.
Channel 11 KTVA will be airing a short story on the soccer field at 5, 6 and 10 pm today. Be tuned! The word is getting out there.
Step 1 complete. The beginning of many towards our goal. Don't forget. Share and like this project with everyone in your networks. Thank you for your efforts.
$30 more for our first $500! This week the word is spread to University of Alaska in Fairbanks.
More updates in the page. Soon some photos of the students and the space where the soccer field will be build.
Just updated the history of the soccer field. Will add some more things later tonight.
$30 more and people from all over the world will be able to use the site's search engine to find us!
Help the students of the Nenana Public High School build their own soccer field. This project has been brought to a standstill for a number of years. Every soccer season the Nenana Lynx co-ed soccer team has had to hop on a bus and drive 20 miles away from Nenana to the neighboring community of Anderson to have 'home' games. The students are very thankful that Anderson has been sharing their beautiful soccer field with them (best in the state...so far!) but after 12 years of work they are anxious to have their own soccer field. Any donations will be helpful towards that goal.
Nenana Student Living Center
phone: 907 832 2000
fax: 907 832 5277The history
The Nenana Public High School provides education to Alaskan students from Nenana but also from many Alaska Native villages across the state. The Nenana Lynx Coed Soccer Team has been participating in the Alaska School Activities Association (ASAA) sponsored Co-ed Soccer League since 2001. Before 2001 no students were playing soccer in Nenana. Dean Overbey, the school's history teacher and Athletic Director, Chuck Hugny, science teacher and soccer coach, and students decided to put a soccer team together. Interest was high from the start despite the fact that the Lynx had no soccer field of their own, no goalposts and all their games had to be away.
In 2002 the school bought soccer
goals and practice soccer balls. The Lynx continued to practice on Nenana's softball
field as the year before. There was so much student
interest in soccer that the City council of Nenana agreed to designate an
entire city block for the team to use to make their soccer field. The block is on the edge of town and at that
time most of the land was wooded with spruce, birch and aspen trees. Volunteer parents, players and community members
worked on the field clearing about ¼ of the block with chainsaws and hauling
the wood away.
In 2003 the Lynx still practiced on the
softball field but the team showed great promise by finishing 3rd at the state co-ed soccer championship. This is without home games as we
had no home field. The field completion
was out to bid but the price was too high for the District or City to fund.
In 2004 and 2005 volunteers re-cleared the soccer as willows and aspen trees begun to take over again.
By 2006 and until 2012 the City and
volunteers had done much to get the field near completion. Over 35,000 yards
of fill was donated and an additional 3000 yards of pea gravel for drainage. This was loaded, hauled and
spread using the city of Nenana's heavy equipment and hundreds of hours of
volunteer time. About 90% of the block
was cleared to make room for the soccer field, a track around it and parking
off the road. What needs to be done (updated 04/17/13)
The soccer field is situated next to the Nenana Student Living Center. The cost to finish it has been estimated around $10,000-$12,000. This cost includes buying and trucking peat from Fairbanks to Nenana and mixing it with silt from the Tanana River using Nenana's heavy equipment. The $8,000 gathered here will be used to cover expenses including buying and transporting peat, grading, crowning the field, ditching, and seeding the field. Our design also includes a fence, bleachers for the teams and spectators, even some electricity for concession stands but these are secondary goals.
With your help and that of other participant individuals and companies, as well as some grants, we aim to raise a satisfactory sum to have a brand new field by the beginning of the coming soccer season in September 2013. Construction can start as soon as the snow melts...which this year could take a while.Why build a soccer field:
- Significant student participation. Every year at least 25 out of 100 students play soccer.
- Health benefits: As any sport activity, soccer improves the physical and mental health of participants.
- Increases educational opportunities. A small number of students have managed to get college soccer scholarships. A proper soccer field will improve practices and increase the students' chances of getting scholarships. For Alaska, where many families do not have the financial ability to send their children to college, such a prospect is invaluable.
- Multipurpose green space. The soccer field could potentially be used for other sports such as American Football.
Few words for soccer romantics (well you read this far!)
Soccer is the beautiful game. But there are attitudes and behaviors that injure soccer, specifically when competition is losing its true purpose, throwing sportsmanship out the window and becoming a win or die situation.
Anyone who has played competitive soccer knows of the attitudes I am talking about; trash talking, threatening, outright violence. These behaviors derive from a feeling of entitlement to victory because one does not lose, because one is the best..even before the game starts. These attitudes are widespread and have given competition a bad reputation.
Being competitive is about challenging yourself and your team and overcoming obstacles. Winning or losing are just outcomes in the process of becoming better in meeting the challenge. A team that has fear of losing, therefore reacts badly when it happens, has stopped becoming better and has compromised.
In compromising, a player and a team lose access to what makes sports, and soccer especially, awesome; the chance to win against better opponents. The chance to completely lose yourself in the game, to step up with your teammates, to show heart with your team and why not? Win. I do not know many people who have memories from 'easy' games. Most of them remember moments of the one game they won against all odds or lost at the last moment.
The point of these musings is this. Co-ed soccer in Alaska's small schools still retains that pure competitive element that makes the game fun and beautiful. The fact that it is co-ed is actually an advantage. The level of competition does not suffer at all because, unlike other team sports, soccer allows for a variety of body types and skill levels to participate and actually make a difference in the game. Yes, boys are faster than girls but it is really fun to see the tiniest girl throwing the biggest boy off the ball because she knows how to plant her feet on the ground.
The students in the co-ed tournaments play their hearts out every soccer season and they do it with style and sportsmanship. They meet the challenge, compete and then joke about it after the game. There is no yelling, no cussing, no spitting, no dirty fouling, and no fighting. Alaska style soccer captures the essence of the game.
And this why it is important to support and promote rural Alaska co-ed soccer any way we can.