April 2013

Message From the President

Jim Nicholas, RAGE President

Last month, several members of the Pleasanton Rage Board of Directors and Rage Staff met for an off-site strategic discussion to review areas that are working well within the Club and identify areas for improvement.  Several items were identified and Board members along with strategic committees were revised to address these areas which include – fundraising, the flight program, coaching education, and community relations. 

I mention fundraising first because as our Club grows, and costs of soccer continue to increase, there is a huge need for fundraising for our organization.  Mayor Thorne announced in his State of the City address that the Bernal Community Park Phase II development should move forward next year.  The sports groups will be working with the City on this project to assist with sponsorships and fundraising.  Our competitive teams have increasing travel costs, and our highest Comp teams in ECNL pay a large amount towards travel costs.  Fundraising or corporate sponsorship can help offset some of those costs.  Finally, our Club wants to ensure that all players have the opportunity to play, and would like to continue to offer limited needs-based scholarships for those families that have financial hardships. Fundraising will greatly enhance our ability to support all three of these important areas. 

I would like to invite anyone in the Rage community that may have any experience with fundraising, either as a fundraiser or a consultant, to contact me or another Board member.  Our Club is at an important stage of development.  We have some wonderful opportunities that can be realized should we be able to seize them. 

Thank you for your consideration.  See you all out there on the soccer fields!

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RAGE 2013 College Advisory Program: Kicking off New Staff and New Direction

Stephanie Wieger, Technical Staff/College Liason

I wanted to inform and remind our members about our College Advisory program. My name is Stephanie Wieger and I coach the U14 and U13 age groups currently. I have been coaching for over 12 years and at the high school, college, and club levels. Starting this year I am heading up our college advisory program. Here at the RAGE we are committed to our players and their families. You are what make up RAGE. Therefore we want to make sure that all competitive players ages U15-U18 should be utilizing all resources we have to offer. This includes our college advisory services. You do not need to be on the top team in your age group to utilize this service. We are lucky to live in a country where there are many different playing opportunities for our female soccer players. I am here to tell you about them and help you kick start your search in the college arena.  We are updating our College Advisory website so please check in for news and helpful tips. We also are using Volunteerspot to help organize these meetings. If you would like to set up a meeting please click on this link http://pleasantonrage.org/pages/college-advisory.php and you can get started right away.

For your initial meeting we ask that you bring a list of 20 schools that you are interested in. This will help us start the process and we can narrow down the list as we go. We also ask that you bring your current cumulative GPA with you as well as any questions that you have regarding the process. Our goal with this program is to give you and your family a connection to the college soccer world as well as get your daughter focused on picking an institution that will best fit her in all areas of life, not just soccer. The earlier we can get ahead on this, the easier the decision should be later down the road. Being in the Information Age we can find so much on the internet but it can be overwhelming. I urge all our competitive families in these age groups to use your coaches and staff as resources since most of us have gone through the process and have a ton information for you.

I also wanted to shine some light on our College Signing Night that we had in February. We celebrated 14 RAGE seniors who are committed to going to a variety of great universities this coming Fall in 2013. Here is the list of players and their accomplishments we celebrated that night:
College Signing Night

Here are the RAGE signing seniors for 2013:
Haley Chow - Princeton
Marissa Scheid - UC San Diego
Emmy Rodriguez - University of Oregon
Alyssa Holsworth - Fresno State
Nicole Heller - UC San Diego
Kylee Southwell - UC San Diego
Gabrielle Ko - UC Irvine
Tamara Aboumrad - UC Berkeley
Sahar Arghandiwal - Cal State Los Angeles
Alyssa Devine - Marquette University
Amanda Nunes - Fresno State
Marisa Rodrigues - Southeastern Louisiana University
Zoe Rogers-Lemke - Cal State Monterey Bay
Shayda Haddad - UC San Diego

After all the hard work and dedication these girls and their families put in, it is great to see them continuing their soccer journeys and the RAGE family is proud to call them our own! The event took place on February 6th , 2013 at the Pleasanton Marriot. It was great to see all in attendance wishing these soon to be student-athletes representing our club and recognizing their accomplishments. We are currently working on placing more in college soccer programs for this class as well. You can find all this information on our website.   Looking forward to working with you on this and GOOOOO RAGE!!!!

Stephanie Wieger
Technical Staff Coach and College Recruiting Liaison

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The Value of Losing

Dan Copenhagen, PCA Director

PCADoes your daughter get discouraged when she loses a soccer match?  That's OK, but remind her not to fret too much!  Many times there's more to gain and learn when the challenge is heavy.  For example, a tough loss can awaken a commitment to better mastering the technical and tactical aspects of the game, and may remind a player how important preparation can be.  Or it can help a team, players and coaches recognize how they might better work as a team to improve on the field.  Most importantly, losing can help teach children that life is not perfect, and that losing a match does not make them a lesser person.  Overcoming these challenges can help children to better deal with possible setbacks they may face in other aspects of life.  Knowing how to bounce back and move forward is an important life lesson. 
So relax and enjoy the process and joys of playing the game, rather than getting wrapped up in winning or losing. 

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Finance Update

Ross Stonesifer, Treasurer

moneyAs the RAGE Club Treasurer, I take great pleasure in assuring you that our balance sheet is one of the strongest of all soccer clubs in the United States.

Our tactical challenge in our extremely important Rec program is to enhance our membership numbers while being very sensitive to local economic realities. The serious recession of recent years, which had a big impact on many of our members, seems to be in a recovery mode, albeit rather lackluster. Your Board debated a registration fee increase this year to compensate for increased program costs of recent years and opportunities we saw for this year. In the end, we opted to hold the fee flat for U8 and older players and reduce the cost substantially for our youngest players, to encourage growth in membership.

We will commit funds to several new or revitalized programs this year:

  • Continue the U8 program with free professional staff training of all teams.
  • Provide a complete overhaul of our Flight program, under the guidance of Ricky Clarke, a very highly regarded professional trainer (an article is elsewhere in this Newsletter).
  • We are responding to numerous requests for coaching education, which will be implemented by Walter Pratte, one of our Staff members. We are most grateful for the approximate 100 volunteer coaches who lead our Rec program and we want to help them in this way.
  • RAGE continues to support the rehabilitation of PUSD fields, contributing over $50,000 to their improvement in 2012. This will be the third year of the effort necessitated by personnel and operating cutbacks at schools. We have never raised fees by the equivalent $25 per player assessed for this account.

Monthly financials and our 990 annual filing with the State of California can be seen at http://pleasantonrage.org/pages/about-us.php
You may find a detailed analysis of Rec Registration Fees outlays at http://pleasantonrage.org/pages/registration.php and click on the link on the right titled 2013 Rec Financial Information

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Rec Soccer Registration

Mark Hjerpe, Recreational VP

rec soccer playersRegistration is now open for the Fall Season!!!  Please register players online at www.pleasantonrage.org by clicking on the ”Registration” tab near the top, right hand side of the website.  We are looking forward to a fun and exciting Fall Season, teams will be formed by mid-July, with practices commencing on August 1, and Opening Day will be September 7, “kicking-off” with the Annual Soccer Parade in downtown Pleasanton.

Pleasanton Rage has made a number of enhancements to the Recreational Programs for the upcoming season, such as entering the U14 Flight division and U16 division into a local traveling house league, similar to that of our U19 division. You read that correct, we are bringing Flight back to U14!!!  Another added feature to the Flight programs (U12 and U14) will be a season-ending in-house jamboree/tournament

This season, for our coaches, we are offering age specific coaching manuals (U8-U14), as well as Recreational coaching classes and certifications.  Pleasanton Rage appreciates all those volunteers who make our club so successful, and help maximize the playing experience of our girls.  Each year, we are in need of more Recreational coaches, please consider coaching your daughter’s soccer team, even for those who have no experience, we have put resources together to make your job easier, and more stress free, we want our coaches to have fun out there with these wonderful players. 

If you have any questions regarding the Recreational soccer programs, please do not hesitate to contact me, Terra Bigelow (Recreational Program Director), or any of the Pleasanton Rage board members.  Join the fun, everyone is welcome to play!!!  

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RAGE College Showcase Anniversary Weekends

Marty Florian, Showcase Director

RAGE College Showcase2013 marks the 10th anniversary for our “olders” RAGE College Showcase and the 5th anniversary for our “youngers” showcase weekend.  What started out 10 years ago with 80 teams attending our one weekend event has transformed into us anticipating over 325 teams to attend our July 19 – 21 (U15 – U19 teams) and July 27 – 28 (U9 – U14 teams) events.

Congratulations to everyone who has been involved with these two tournaments.    Thank you in advance to all of the parents who work these weekends as field marshals, venue set-up and take-down, t-shirt sales, golf cart drivers and the list goes on.  Without your help we’d be “just another tournament” instead of what we’ve become these past years through our success and growth! 

As you participate in our two weekend events, be sure to welcome all of the visiting teams, players, parents and coaches .  We always hear positive feedback at our event and our welcoming approach keeps the teams coming back year after year.

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Referee Notes

Carlos Castañeda, Referee Director/PSRA Rep

With spring soccer starting and a look ahead to fall, the Pleasanton Soccer Referee Association (PSRA) would like to review a few items of note for players, coaches and parents.

Join Our Ranks
Referee classes for 2013 have been posted on our website. We are always looking for new referees to help out on Rage and BUSC matches, as well as looking for the next up-and-coming referee star.

U9/U10 Rec teams are required to have parent volunteers referee games. Many of these parents decide after their kids are older to keep at it; learning and improving to referee higher level games and tournaments. It’s fun, and you get paid to work out!  Maybe you can be part of the solution to the problem of not enough referees.

Equipment, Uniforms
New for 2013, the Laws of the Game include an addition to requirements on uniforms having to do with socks. It states that if tape or similar material is applied to the sock it must be the same color as the part of the sock it’s applied to. This requirement is in line with previous requirements on undershirts/undershorts (such as Under Armour) being the same color as the jersey or shorts.

In Rec leagues and/or younger age matches, it’s likely this rule will not be strictly enforced. However, as the age group and play level increases, so will the likelihood of enforcement.

A reminder on jewelry, wristbands, friendship bracelets, bobby pins, hair clips and the like; none are allowed at any time. PSRA referees are instructed to enforce this rule at all levels and age groups.

For more on the “no jewelry” rule, please consult this link.

Connect With Us
Please visit the PSRA website for more information, and ‘Like” us on our Facebook page.

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My International Experience

Lexi Nicholas, U17 ECNL

CostaAt 3 a.m. on a brisk Thursday morning, I had my bags packed, soccer gear ready, and ticket in hand: I was ready to depart the Oakland International Airport for my journey to Costa Rica. I would be one of five girl’s traveling to Central America that were born in 1996. We would be joined by 10 other girls born between the years 1997 and 1999, all representing Region IV for the United Stated Olympic Development Team. 

At 17, I was the oldest player on the trip and selected as not only a big sister to one of the younger players, but also a team captain. There was no better feeling than being named captain and wearing the armband to represent my region, and the United States in international play. As a player for Region IV, I had the opportunity to play against 3 professional teams and the U-17 National Team in Costa Rica. Beating 2 of the 3 pro teams, and also beating the national team, was an incredible experience.  The Costa Rican teams were all fast, strong and talented.   It was a challenge to adapt to play against the older and more experienced teams. 

Besides the soccer, our team got exposed to many other diverse activities. From zip lining, to swimming in the ocean, dancing with cultural dancers, and volunteering at a community center for underprivileged kids, our team got exposed to a whole new culture. One highlight from the trip was my ability to make personal connections with the children due to my fluency in Spanish.  Their smiles and laughter made the  community center experience rewarding and memorable. 

Being able to compete in international play has helped me develop into a better soccer player and a better person. I know that I would not have been able to get where I am if not for my years at Rage. The coaches here have helped me develop into who I want to be on and off the field, both as a technical goalkeeper and more inspirational leader. I am so thankful to have had this opportunity and want to give a big thanks to my teammates, my family, and my coaches for helping me get to where I am today.

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