While the eyes of the soccer world are focused on World Cup in Russia, Jeff Schloss’ interest is elsewhere.
“You know, I love soccer but I don’t watch it. I love to play it. I’m more of a participant than a spectator,” he said.
The main soccer on Schloss’ mind is SCORES, South Valley Athletics’ four-team adult soccer league. There is a team of high school students (mixed with some newly minted graduates), a team from a local business, a team of some family and friends and a house team that brings individuals together who were looking for a team. They all come together to create SCORES that runs from June to August and plays game at Cottage Grove High School.
Schloss first got involved with SVA when he coached his son’s third grade team in 2013 and joined the SCORES league as a player in 2016 before coming into this positon last year. In his first year as head of SVA’s soccer program, he oversees the league that is in its seventh season of action and has continued to follow a simple guiding principle since its inception.
“Let’s have some fun and score some points and just have fun,” said Schloss.
Part of the fun of the nine-on-nine league is the aspect of making sure that people stay healthy.
“That’s why we have the rules the way that we do. You know, no sliding no contact to keep it safe and fun for old people like me who come out here to play still against these youngins’,” said Shelly Heintz who started the league when she oversaw soccer for SVA and is now on the house team. “They’ll give us a run but it’s a lot of fun.”
The league bounces between four and six teams per year and last year even ended on five and a half teams.
“So the last game was somebody vs. whoever wanted to play. Which is great. That’s a great – you don’t have so much of a ‘my team’ adversary thing going on,” said Heintz.
Ultimately for Heintz it’s about “running around and having fun.” And sometimes that fun includes the high school players racing by on the way to score a goal.
“It was like ‘oh my God,’ these kids were like five and I coached them. And now I’m playing against them. Come back here, I taught you that,” said Heintz.