The AYSO program was a huge success in Morgan County for a number of years, but loss of playing fields and lack of volunteers made the future of soccer in Morgan uncertain.
AYSO Regional Commissioner Lisa Hone was a huge part of the program’s success over the last few years. She conveyed her support of a new program and said how glad she was to see soccer continue in Morgan in any form.
Hone expressed her gratitude saying, “I would like to thank the hundreds of volunteers that have put in thousands of hours of service for the community over the years that AYSO has been in Morgan. We really could not have done it without them. They changed lives by helping, teaching and coaching kids. We really have a great community and we hope they will continue on with the new program.”
Morgan Recreation Board member Mike Kendell also articulated his gratitude, saying that the recreation board would like to thank not only the AYSO board, but the countless volunteers who gave up their time and talents to make sure the soccer program was successful.
The outgoing AYSO board consists of Hone, Tracey Wilkerson, Tammy Sommers, Jana Johnson, Wanda Wilkinson, Robyn Nelson, Becca London, Meagan Gilson, Jeff Stokes and Anne Marie Robinson.
According to Kendell, the recreation board put out an advertisement in the newspaper for a recreation director. Three people put their names forward, Generation U being one of them.
Generation U was started by two Morgan brothers, Dave and Steve George in 2014. Having worked with youth sports for over 10 years each, both brothers are grateful for the opportunity to encourage young athletes to reach their potential.
Both George brothers participated in baseball and football and Morgan High School. After graduation, Dave earned a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Utah State University. His wife, Camille, ran for Davis High School’s track and cross country teams and played soccer for much of her youth. Both have spent many hours coaching youth teams and now have five children of their own.
Steve continued his love for athletics by coaching little league teams and running Pony league baseball in Morgan. He met his wife, Holly, while attending Utah State University. Holly grew up playing AYSO soccer and now teaches at Morgan High School. Steve and Holly have three boys to coach now.
Generation U has a contract that must be renewed from year to year and will be in charge of not only soccer teams, but all other sports as well.
There are some definite benefits to having an organized group like this direct recreation in the county, the biggest benefit is that the small amount of money that is made from these programs stays in Morgan instead of going back to fund some national organization.
Next in line is that being a local company, Generation U will always try to use local companies themselves for things like uniform and equipment purchases.
Generation U also has affiliations with different companies that give them the ability to provide training to coaches. “I personally used the online service that AYSO provided, and I found them to be beneficial, but Generation U wants to provide more in-person training. This is year one, so we haven’t seen it all the way through, but that is the goal,” Kendell said.
“I would also like to see there be more connection between the high school programs and the rec programs,” stated Kendell. “This would help the kids prepare to play the sport in high school. They would be familiar with the skills the coaches are looking for and the style of play.”
Kendell noted that for a long time, the Morgan Recreation program was pretty status quo. There was no financial growth or new programs. Without that financial growth, there is no real way to offer new opportunities.
During the interview process, the Generation U board expressed their desire to offer recreation opportunities to all ages during all seasons to encourage a more active community. “It will take a while to get all this in place, but we would love to see things like horseshoe pits, archery, even incorporate the fine arts possibly offering poetry reading or a singing group just to provide better opportunities for people to be a part of something,” Kendell said.
This will hopefully provide the chance for kids who don’t want to play on high school teams to still play team sports as well as adults who just want to use sports as a way to get out and be healthy.
Generation U also has an independent competition soccer club called Morgan Valley United (MVU) for those who are interested in going further with soccer specifically.
Morgan Recreation soccer registration for fall 2016-spring 2017 is going on right now through May 31. You can find all the information on in-person registration dates and print all the forms online at www.eteamz.com/morganrecreation.
Football registration begins on June 1 and information for that program can be found on the same website.