Futsal at the Center

By Frank Lewis - [email protected]

You can argue the point all day, but there are many people in the world who would tell you there is no more emotional game than soccer.

“It’s really intense,” Jeff Bishop, president of the Westside Warriors Soccer League, said. “Especially Sunday on our high school league. It’s really intense on Sundays.”

It was Saturday morning at the 14th Street Community Center and the ones playing indoor soccer were nowhere near high school age and this group seemed more instructional than intense.

“We’re playing Futsal,” Bishop said.

Futsal, for your information, is 5-on-5 indoor soccer with slightly different rules than regular soccer, such as a stopped clock and then there’s the size of the ball, a little lighter. However, the action was still fast and it appeared to be a lot of fun for both the players and the parents.

“We’ve got teams from Clay, the west side, Portsmouth and Wheelersburg,” Bishop said. “This is our second year. We play here (14th Street Community Center) and in the 17th Street Armory.”

The teams are divided into multiple age groups from 1 1/2 to 18. Saturdays consist of under 8, under 10, under 12 and under 15.

‘They’re very involved in it,” Bishop said. “They love it.”

John Valentine is vice president of the Board of the 14th Street Community Center, and was enjoying watching his grandchildren play and the interaction of several communities on the floor at the same time.

“It happened very serendipitously,” Valentine said. “A new faculty member at Shawnee State (University), Pablo Salinas from Peru was interested in finding opportunities for his son, Alonzo, to play soccer and he read something about a soccer program on the west side of Portsmouth.

Valenting, a retired faculty member at SSU got to know Salinas and with efforts by the two, it all came together and children from the various communities come together on the weekend at the 14th Street Community Center to play and receive instruction.

“We feel it’s a wonderful symbiotic relationship,” Valentine said. “We’re very happy with the relationship.”



By Frank Lewis

[email protected]

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.