Fundraiser for Island Soccer Underway

Crystal Canterbury
Fundraiser for Island Soccer Underway
Casey Robertson

'Tis the season of giving – and your gift to Ocracoke soccer can be doubled!

“The soccer program at the Ocracoke School has come a long way since its start just a couple years ago, and it only continues to grow,” says assistant coach Corey Cutright. “When the program started in 2015, before the Ocracoke Community Park was set up for soccer, the team didn't play a single home game and practiced in the front yard of the McDermott house."

Soccer was brand new to Ocracoke in 2015, and "the majority of the players had never played competitive soccer before or had never played soccer at all. Since then, the program and the players involved have come leaps and bounds,” said Coach Corey.

When the team played their first home game at Ocracoke Community Park in 2016, the bleachers and the sidelines were packed with spectators. There was such a great number in attendance that people were set up along the sidelines in lawn chairs! That excitement has continued to grow and the coaches and team are excited about the program’s future. 

“As an assistant coach I've watched these players grow from being young adults that had never played a day of soccer in their lives, into athletes that have found a love for the game and look forward to every season,” explained Coach Corey, “Just like myself when I started playing many years ago”.

The 2017 Varsity team had 17 players and won two games! (They were the first wins for the Ocracoke Dolphins soccer program). A youth soccer program that met on Saturday mornings had 30 participants in elementary and middle school.

In an effort to provide equipment for the growing high school soccer program as well as the up and coming youth soccer program, Corey and head coach Mary McKnight have organized a fundraiser. 

The initiative is through Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation and the program promises donations will be met dollar for dollar. Through December 6th, Dick’s will match donations dollar for dollar (up to $50) and those donations will be doubled by by entering the code LIFTOFF, so your $20 donation could become an $80 donation! Find the fundraiser here.

This is the information that Mary posted on the fundraising page:

Island Soccer My students need training equipment to grow in the sport of soccer. Soccer practice and training is an outlet for many of them.

My Students

We live on a small island that is only accessible by boat or plane. Our school teams travel long, long hours to play competitively (leave at 9am, home at 12:30am). Our student athletes are nothing short of amazing when it comes to travelling, getting homework done on a bus or ferry, and then playing with passion. 

Many of the student athletes are 3-sport athletes, as we only have approximately 45 students in the high school.

Our school and community is approximately 30% Hispanic and 68% Caucasian. The families are tight knit and many parents are volunteer coaches at the school and in the community youth leagues. 

Ultimately, it's a community where kids still play outside until dinner time. We try to provide safe, welcoming spaces for our youth, and it is the most generous community one could ever hope to be a part of, but we're also limited. The economy and the families' incomes are supported by a 5-6 month tourist season. Often times storms can cut that even shorter.

My Project

Our community just built its first soccer field 2 years ago. Our kids, from Pre-K to 12th are so excited for the opportunity to play the world's greatest sport! But we have a long way to go in being equipped with training equipment to take their game to a competitive level. The size 4 soccer balls and small goals will be tailored to fit young players. The target net and rebounder will be for more advanced players to develop game skills.

The high school varsity players and parent volunteers lead the youth soccer skills program.

It's an incredible scene to see the big kids teaching the next generation of soccer players. They're a remarkable group of you men and women who are invested in the sport and how it can bring a community together. 

Please help our student athletes experience high level, fun training!


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