FIELD OF DREAMS: Community breaks ground for soccer complex

Friday , March 13, 2015 - 11:58 AM

By RACHEL TROTTER
Standard-Examiner correspondent

OGDEN – The dream of a high end soccer complex in Ogden is one step closer to reality as dignitaries from the Ogden community gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony the Ogden Community Soccer Complex Thursday on the property of the Ogden School District offices.

The groundbreaking is the start of one of three construction phases of three large soccer fields. The first field could be completed in 90 days.

Soccer athletes from Ogden High School and surrounding areas also put on hard hats and turned dirt, while Ogden High School’s drum line played loudly in the background.

“I want every youth athlete to stand up and to know that this complex and this community effort is for you,” said OCSC member Danette Pulley.

Pulley has been among a group of parents, community members and Ogden High soccer coaches that began a grass roots campaign to raise funds more than a year ago. But Janis Vause, Ogden School Foundation director said the planning of the fields has been in the works for much longer than that.

“I think it has been about a decade since soccer coach Sterling Castle came into my office and started talking about this,” Vause said. “This has been a dream of Coach Sterling Castle’s for a very long time.”

Castle simply said, “thank you,” when asked how he feels about seeing his dream of a new soccer complex come alive. He said he never doubted that the Ogden community would rally to build a field for the kids to play soccer. “There was never any doubt in my mind,” Castle said.

High praise was offered by community leaders like Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell, Ogden Superintendent Sandy Coroles and Ogden School Board President Jeff Heiner, and Weber County Commissioner Kerry Gibson. The Ogden School District donated the 10 acres of land for the complex and will also help run and facilitate the site once it is completed. It is also be the home of the Ogden High School soccer teams.

Vause talked about the range of donations that have come to the Ogden School Foundation for the project. She talked of some girls that saved up their pennies and walked in an envelope to her office. She also talked about bigger donations, like that of Eccles Foundation who donated $1 million for the project -- $500,000 of that donation will be used for field one, but the other half will be the last $500,000 for field two. The foundation and soccer committee will still be looking to raise more funds to match the $500,000.

“Because of RAMP’s generous donation of $150,000 we are closer to our goal,” Vause said.

Heiner said he has heard the field should be called a “field of dreams.”

“We are building a field of dreams not only for Ogden kids but for kids all across Northern Utah. Teams of all ages will be able to play here. This is a great example of community spirit,” Heiner said.

Caldwell echoed those statements and said it was fitting to have a soccer complex built by volunteers.

“This is an example of the power of collaboration. These projects don’t just happen on their own. This didn’t come without your vision,” Caldwell added.

For more information about the complex visit Ogden Community Soccer Complex on Facebook or www.ogdenschoolfoundation.org.

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