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At a young age winning is not the most important thing, the important thing is to develop creative and skilled players with good confidence. - Arsene Wenger

Barnwell Soccer Club

  • Please consider becoming a Coach/ Role Model!

    Please consider becoming a Coach/ Role Model!

  • Meet the USA's 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup team

    Meet the USA's 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup team

  • Wild Mustangs 2006 State Cup U16 Champions

    Wild Mustangs 2006 State Cup U16 Champions

  • N.C. Courage 2018 NWSL Champions!!

    N.C. Courage 2018 NWSL Champions!!

  • Hydration Guidelines for youth athletes. Click Image Above.

    Hydration Guidelines for youth athletes. Click Image Above.

  • What are your goals for this year?

    What are your goals for this year?

The Barnwell Soccer Club was founded in 1995 to allow all children within our area to have the opportunity to enjoy the greatest sport in the world. Built on volunteer board members, volunteer coaches, and amazing sponsors and donors.

The original founders of the club were Marty Harvey and Marty Martin. Their vision was to provide guidance in the playing of soccer for the children in Barnwell County and to help build a good stable of players for our school programs. 

Presidents have included: Marty Harvey (Harvey & Kulmala), Marty Martin, George T. Smith, Sammy Rush, Kenneth Kinard, Jerry Hodge and John McHenry.

We are blessed to be one of the smaller clubs in the state with dedicated soccer fields. These fields were made possible by donations from the Moore Family, John Leonard, Wade Jackson, Clariant,  Don Houck and many more that we hope to recognize here.

Our small club fielded teams that have gone on to great seasons. In 2003 the Lady Mavericks were runner ups for the State Championship. In 2006 the Wild Mustangs became State Champions in U16. We hope to add to their legacy. 

Players from the Barnwell Soccer Club have gone on to play at Southern Methodist College, Lander, USC Beaufort, USC Salkehatchie and Coker College among others. 

Following is a letter to the editor from back in 2001 written be then President Marty Harvey: We have not quite met all of the goals yet....

President’s Column

            We have come a long way.   In 1991, youth soccer in Barnwell was an activity offered by the Barnwell Recreation Department.  Up until then, soccer was for boys who were just biding their time waiting to get big enough to play football.  Not many folks took soccer seriously.  A female soccer player was extremely rare, and those girls who wanted to play had to play with the boys.  Uniforms were t-shirts and whatever pair of shorts the child pulled out of his drawer that afternoon to wear.  The only thing coaches knew about the rules of the game were what someone else had told them.  The referees were, for the most part, players on the high school soccer team.  There was not a rule book in sight. Games were played on fields that were too small, had potholes, and were unlighted.  

In 1991, a group of boys came along that loved the game, were pretty good at it, and showed potential.  Their parents thought that was cool.  Over the next 2 years, those boys and their parents began to believe there was more to youth soccer than what was being played in Barnwell.  I bought a rule book.  That threw some of the other coaches into a tizzy. The next year I talked my team’s parents into spending a little extra money to outfit the 11 boys and 2 girls in full uniforms, complete with matching socks.  Though the parents of the other teams’ players were a little envious, they wanted it for their children, too.  It looked like we had something going there.  

Something else was going on.  As the players got better, the competition among friends became fierce.  It was difficult on the players and the parents.  We were able to play teams from Blackville and Williston but they weren’t that competitive.  We started asking around about coaching education and competition outside of Barnwell.  

As we asked questions in larger towns with established programs, we decided uniforms and rule books were not enough.  Jjm Washburn, Marty Martin, Joey King and I began to explore the requirements for affiliation with the US Soccer Federation and we developed a vision for youth soccer in Barnwell -- better trained and better equipped players, more knowledgeable coaches, certified referees and informed parents.  We formed this club with that vision.  

After the first year, we decided to bring Coast to Coast Soccer Academy to Barnwell to hold a day camp to train our kids.  The camp was well-attended by boys and girls alike.  The following Fall we had a large number of girls enroll in the program.  When I looked at the list, I brought it to the Board’s attention and we decided to experiment with an all-girls league.  When word of it got out to the schools, we had to turn down applications from girls because we didn’t have enough coaches.  Our girls program is now the shining star of team sports in our club and, personally speaking, is my proudest accomplishment. Our club is now a model for other towns in our area.  Hampton and Bamberg have copied our system.  I get telephone calls every month asking how we do things here.   The fields remain a problem.  George Smith and Joey King took the lead to get lights on the fields at Lemon Park.  This allowed for more games to be played, but we still did not have enough room to practice.  We still needed regulation fields to play on.  

Marty Martin and George Smith have been diligently working with other community volunteers to address the facilities problem.  They have brought to the point of life a proposed recreation complex to be built here in Barnwell.  If the City and County Councils allow the referendum in November, and you get out and vote, by 2003, we will have a gem of a facility comparable to Aiken’s Citizen’s Park.  The plans call for 2 full-size soccer fields and 10 acres of practice fields!  Achieving the full vision is in sight, but we cannot think we have it made.   Marty Martin tells me the plan is for the new facility to have a full-time director of recreation who will oversee all youth sports.  This is a great idea, but parents will still need to be involved.  This club will need to remain viable to be a voice for the kids and to make sure that soccer is never put on the back seat again.  If no one is there to speak for the kids, even with the new facility, soccer will revert to what it was in 1991 and those of you who have children who really love the game will be very disappointed.  

We must renew our vision.  We should not only continue to strive for better trained players and coaches.  We should consider the possibility of having soccer for 4 and 5 year olds.  We have an active group of girls playing in the Spring.  We should work to give boys an opportunity to play in the Spring as well.  More coaches and committed parents are the main ingredients for both these goals.


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