Kicking it for community: Local soccer club 10 years in the making and going strong
Big Sky Futbol Club continues to gain traction, with increased enrollment and the probability of becoming a Big Sky School District high school sanctioned team in about two to three years, when BSSD is likely to hit Class B status, board president Peter Manka said.
Somewhere around 130 kids from micro league 4-5 year olds all the way up to high school have a hectic fall of practices and games in the Big Sky community, Manka said.
Club Director Anita Romine said that around 40-50 volunteers help with everything from field maintenance, to refereeing, serving on the board, team management, to helping fund scholarships.
Two of those volunteers have been at it for nearly a decade – Peter and Ellie Manka.
“Just sort of de facto, Ellie and I organized the program up here. We were basically still Bozeman Blitz, still under the Blitz umbrella,” he said.
They coordinated teams and practice times for years and kept it going until enough momentum and children led to the formation of Big Sky Futbol Club.
“I have to give a big shout-out to Kim Dickerson. They moved up here about three years ago. She was a coach in Bozeman and had a lot of passion for the game. She put a lot of effort into spearheading this 501c3, in organizing the club, as well as organizing the board,” he said.
Manka said it’s great to give local kids the option of playing a lifelong, international sport.
“I think kids having a connection and a passion for the game is a great tool for them to have in their lives,” he said.
Romine said the soccer club is actually more like a soccer family within Big Sky.
“We participated in the homecoming parade because we feel like it’s an important part of the community tradition and we want to be a part of that and we want the community to be a part of us,” she said.
Manka noted they are always looking for community volunteers, people that are involved with soccer that want to participate with coaching, helping to organize or referee.
“I coordinate the referee committee and end-up refereeing most of the games that end up here. We are looking for more folks to come and help out,” he said.
Romine said it would be wonderful if the community could come out and support the soccer team during the final home games of the season:
Friday, Oct. 4 and 11, 4-6 p.m. Ages 4-9 Rec program friendlies
Saturday, Oct. 5 at 11 a.m. High School team vs Mining City FC
Saturday, Oct. 5 at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. U12 Girls team
Tuesday, Oct. 8 at 4 p.m. High School team vs Yellowstone Homeschool
Saturday, Oct. 12 at 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. U15 Coed team
All games are played at the Big Sky Community Park
For more information, visit www.bigskyfc.org