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The History of Donegal Youth Soccer

The founding father of Donegal Youth Soccer was Bernie Thome. In 1974, Bernie, a Donegal High School Math teacher and the high school soccer coach, started a summer elementary program. Goals were placed at all four elementary schools - Seiler, Grandview, Maytown, and Riverview. Leagues were created and the elementary students played during the summer.

During the 1980s, the program evolved into a fall program at the Wilbur I. Beahm Junior High School. Many individuals, including Tom Manley, Bill Nagel, John Hendrix and Jim Hamilton, were involved in the operation. Play was of an intramural nature with pick up games. Students from third grade to sixth grade participated.

1990 marked a big change in structure. Scott Albert became the first designated commissioner. Our first team, Boys U-12 entered the Manheim Township Intramural League. U-8 teams and U-10 teams were formed and played each other, Conoy, and Rheems. 1991 was the year the practices and games were played at Fuhrman Park in Maytown. Donegal Youth Soccer had 60 players - no girls in its first year. 1990 was the first year the players were divided into U-8, U-10 and U-12.

Girls’ teams were first organized in 1993. Also in 1993, soccer was played in the spring for the first time. Buzz Haake was the first coach of a U-14 girls team. Teams started play at Red Rose Indoor Arena during the winter of 1994. Summer soccer camp in Maytown was started in 1994 as a fundraiser between Donegal Youth Soccer and the Donegal Boys Soccer Booster Club.

Scott Albert remained commissioner through the 1995 season. From 1990 to 1995, the number of players increased from 60 to 325. U-8's were the only co-ed group with boys and girls being on their own teams at U-10, U-12, and U-14.

In 1996, Chris Stoppard became the soccer commissioner. Our teams were entered in the LANCO League for the first time. MICROS (players under 6 years old) were also added.

Mike Hotchkiss became the soccer commissioner in 1997. In 2001, this web site was developed in order to keep the club organized and up to date. As a result of the strong number of girls playing in Donegal Youth Soccer, the first Donegal Girls School team was formed in 2001.

Chuck Weyland took over as commissioner in 2003. Three major revisions were made to this web site in the process of developing a database-driven, online management system with access for everyone from officers down to coaches. Today there are over 500 players involved in the spring and fall leagues. Soccer camp averages 100 kids every August.