Website Manager

Wausau Area Youth Soccer Association

History

SOCCER IN WAUSAU 

In October 1979, Ray Kirschoffer placed a notice in the newspaper about a meeting at the Little Red Schoolhouse in Marathon Park to organize a youth soccer league in Wausau.  Ray was the coordinator for recreation programs for the Marathon County Park Department.  Two people attended that first meeting, Ray and Larry Schmitz.  The decision that night was to meet again the following year and use the time to recruit interested community leaders to help get the program started.  Soccer was not entirely new to Wausau even at that time.  An adult league had been playing for several years and DC Everest had plans for a youth league to start in 1980. 

A year later, the interest had built, and when Ray posted the notice of the meeting there were several Wausau area recruits for a planning board and a group from DC Everest who were there to offer encouragement and assistance to the new organization.  From that meeting, youth soccer was on its way.  The Wausau Area Youth Soccer Association was incorporated on March 23, 1981 with Dick Lepinski as the first president.  The first season was then in the planning stages ready to begin late in the summer.  Over 400 players were registered that first season and grew quickly to well over 1000 players.  The early emphasis was on the younger age group, but high school age players were soon accommodated in a high school league operated in conjunction with the DC Everest organization and lasting until the competitive league was started. 

High school soccer was not far behind.  Wisconsin Rapids and Stevens Point were the first high schools to develop teams and were very interested in other schools in the Wisconsin Valley developing their own programs.  Soccer had been part of many school athletic programs in southeast Wisconsin since the 1930’s and 1940’s, and began to grow again in the 1970’s.  In 1982-83 soccer became a WIAA tournament activity.  The WAYSA board of directors approached the Wausau School Board during the 1983-84 school year to propose the addition of high school soccer at the varsity and junior varsity level beginning in the fall of 1984.  Financial assistance in the form of start-up funds was offered and the school board enthusiastically approved the program.  Their primary concern was what would happen if too many players showed up, and this proved to be a valid concern as over 100 players turned out at East, and over 80 at West. 

Game and practice fields were a major problem both for East and West, although West did have on site fields which were useable if there was no rain.  East always played games at West, but moved practice sites every few years including Oak Island Park, land behind West High School, Stettin Park (now known as Brockmeyer), Weston school, and the Health Care Center. East and West, together with SPASH, Rapids and Everest, were part of the North Central Soccer Conference which stayed in existence until soccer achieved Wisconsin Valley status in 1991.  Scott Thompson was the first West coach, Mike Gullickson the first East coach. 
  
Competitive soccer, or traveling teams for which there were tryouts, also had their beginning in this area in Wisconsin Rapids and Stevens Point.  Again they were interested in Wausau developing a similar program to allow development of a league and provide an opportunity for interested players to have a higher level of competition and improved coaching.  There were efforts by high school coaches Larry Schmitz and Scott Thompson and by WAYSA president Bob Wulff to persuade WAYSA to sponsor these competitive teams.  WAYSA preferred to maintain its recreational identification and the high school coaches then decided to recruit a committee of soccer leaders to incorporate a new, competitive program.  Wausau Soccer Club began its first season in spring 1991 and quickly grew to include all age ranges for both boys and girls.  WAYSA and several clubs associated with Wisconsin Youth Soccer Association continue today.  

 

Wausau Area Youth Soccer Association

P.O. Box 1783 
Wausau, Wisconsin 54402
Email : [email protected]
Copyright © 2019 Wausau Area Youth Soccer Association (WAYSA)  |  Privacy Policy |  Terms of Use  |  License Agreement |  Children's Privacy Policy  Log In