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Lady Pintos Soccer program visits Chamber for pledges

by Kaden Quinn | February 15, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.
Democrat photo/Garrett Fuller — FILE — The former home of the California High School Pintos — Old Riley Field — may become a new practice field for a girls soccer program, if one is added. The field, seen Sunday (Jan. 22, 2023,), needs a lot of work to bring it up to par for use by athletes. For instance, the old end zone uprights pictured would need to be removed along with a light pole. Proponents of a girls soccer program are requesting pledges from community members to get the ball rolling. Part of the money raised would go toward making Old Riley Field suitable for a practice field, among other things.

A potential high school girls sports program is looking for pledge support from the California community.

The California Area Chamber of Commerce received a visit from program planner Zach Hackett to help establish a California High School Lady Pintos soccer team.

Hackett attended the meeting to give more information to local businesses who might be interested in supporting a potential team, extending Lady Pintos soccer pledge forms to chamber members. He explained the overall plans for the program and gave an update on its current status.

Although the program has not been approved by the school district, the idea for a girls soccer team has received support from students and their parents.

In a previous Democrat article, the California R-1 Board of Education chose to table the establishment of a girls soccer team due to budget concerns and conflicts with other California sports teams.

According to Hackett and the school board, the initial start-up fund for the program would range between $35,000 and $38,000. However, the pledge form stated the city's Parks and Recreation Department has already gifted two soccer goals to the program and they are willing to work together with the school district and California youth football program to cover the expenses to revitalize Old Riley Field as a practice field for the team.

This brings costs down to $20,000 which the Lady Pintos soccer program will collect through pledges from families, local business and other organizations.

"Recently our school superintendent sent out a survey to sixth through 11th grade students. The survey received 190 responses and over 125 responded they would participate on a soccer team," the pledge form stated. "Our girls need and want more choices in high school sports than what is available to them currently. Soccer brings a real social change and cultural significance to the entire school population."

During the presentation Hackett emphasized a girls soccer program may also bring California together with its Hispanic community. According to Data USA, a website visualizing public data, the city's Hispanic population currently stands at 13.4 percent. With many Hispanic children in the area, a girls soccer team could open up an opportunity to a create a stronger community between students.

Hackett said there is no push to create a corresponding boys soccer team and no requirement from the school.

Pledges will be paid to the soccer program's Booster Club, which will be created after the school district's official approval of the Lady Pintos soccer team. Hackett said payment for coaches would be around $10,000 and travel for away games would come out at $2,500 or more. He said if the district were to approve the sport, the program's booster club would begin annual fundraising.

Further details such as a location for official games have yet to be determined. However, Hackett said Old Riley Field could be a centerpiece for this program, as the Lady Pintos' practice and game field. Although he would first need the financial backing of the community before any further decisions can be made.

"I hope that the community could support a new sport that is very much wanted by a lot of the students in this community. Like they've supported other sports," Hackett told the Democrat. "I just want them to be open to something that we haven't ever really experienced - a girls soccer program. But it's definitely something the girls want and I think it's something that community can support. I think it could be a win win....with kind of revitalizing Old Riley Field and providing a lot of opportunities to a lot of girls to play a sport they want to play."

For details, contact the personal pickup number listed on the form: 1-573-338-5815

In other business:

  • The chamber approved the measure by member Norris Gerhart to add an additional category to the organization's list of awards. The category would be for group, club or organization dedicated to benefitting the community. The award does not have to be given annually, however it would be an option for the chamber to present.
  • Executive Secretary Sandra Ratcliff reported Amazon has connected the chamber for participation in potential program. She said Todd Guys, field acquisition manager for Amazon in Missouri, said the program empowers local business owners to launch a package delivery side hustle within their existing business. She said 350 plus packages are delivered in California per day and the postal system is overwhelmed. This moved Amazon to approach different rural communities for assistance with delivery. According to Ratcliff, businesses can make $2.50 per package delivered within a six and a half mile radius of their location. Delivery would be between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. The chamber would also be paid $500 per business that participates.

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