“Fircrest is only like a mile long and a mile wide. Our fields are within walking distance of each other.”
Joanne Williams is the President of Fircrest Soccer Club. About 300 players take the pitch for Fircrest, a recreational club in the small town just down the road from Cheney Stadium. The focus of the club is 100% on recreational play.
“We are the only club in the South Sound that is only rec. We do not have any select or premier teams. We do draw from around the area, but not very far. We see some Tacoma people, especially in the older age groups, but the younger ages are mostly Fircrest families.”
Those families are taking part in community soccer, learning lessons about life through the game. Other organizations may push player development towards scholarships and professional opportunities, but at Fircrest the focus is on soccer for fun.
“Yes, there’s how to kick a ball and how to trap a ball, but also more the basic rules of life. Treat others how you want to be treated, play hard, and have fun.”
There’s an effort to keep costs low and reward volunteerism. Fircrest embraces their smaller size knowing that it is part of what makes the club and community special.
“Our kids go to school together. We have a lot of teams that start playing at 4 together and then they play all the way through. It makes for lifelong friendships – it’s why you join a club like this and move to a place like Fircrest.”
From certain parts of Cheney Stadium you can see the trees that line the streets and fill the yards of Fircrest. The soccer club now has two pro soccer teams in its backyard too.
“I have lived and breathed soccer from a young age. It was exciting when Defiance came down last year, but I must say that having the Reign here has been a gamechanger. I have two daughters that play for Fircrest and the idea that they get to see professional women play at this level – for them to be able to see themselves represented I wish that was something my generation had.”
Williams’ goals with Fircrest Soccer Club are simple – she, and the club, just want kids to play.
“Our mission is to help encourage kids to learn to love sport. We will be there for any kid that wants to play soccer for as long as they want to play soccer.”
Website: Fircrest Soccer Club
Region: Fircrest with some Tacoma
Ages: Recreational from U-5 to U-17
Travel: Pierce County, with home fields in walking distance