All’s fair in love, war…
For years youth soccer has thrived in Granbury, and now the adults are getting in on the action.
The Granbury Soccer Association’s Adult Co-Ed League began play this summer, and it’s been a big kick, er, hit, according to league spokesman Ronnie Wann.
“Kent Barnes (GSA secretary) initially came up with the idea,” said Wann.
“He and I had discussed it for a while and started probing friends and parents about their interest in participating in an adult soccer league.
“Many people in Granbury drive to the Metroplex to participate in adult soccer leagues there. We figured why not here in Granbury?”
They recruited the help of another Granbury resident, J.P. Gibson, who was playing in a Fort Worth league.
“I grew up playing soccer in Granbury and played in high school,” said Gibson. “My freshmen class was the year GHS started the program. I have played in adult men’s leagues in Fort Worth for the last 15 years, as well as co-ed indoor teams in Fort Worth.
“We had a great turnout for the first season (in Granbury), and I think everyone involved has had a good time. It is a great thing for the Granbury Soccer Association.
“It gets the parents of kids playing in youth soccer a chance to play and get a better understanding of the game. I think it is nice for the kids to see their parents getting involved in the sport.”
Players in the league range from no experience to former collegiate and very experienced. Granbury High soccer coach Doug Kissinger, who played for the 1999 state champion Pirates, is in the league along with his wife.
Some of the rules in adult co-ed are different from standard soccer rules, said Wann. A goal scored by a female is worth two points, while male goals are worth one. All penalty kicks must be taken by female players. Three females per team must always be on the field.
“We decided on co-ed because there are a lot of women that play soccer in Granbury,” said Wann.
Wann said the hope was to have around 60 players register. They had about 80 sign up.
The spring/summer season had four teams. Wann said the hope is to expand in the fall season and to play teams from other cities.
“The co-ed league has been great,” said former Granbury Lady Pirate assistant coach Brian Tewell. “While competition can be heated at times, we’re basically a group of people who honor the game and each other. It’s a very inclusive environment.”
Angie Kirby and her husband Jeremy joined the league, and she said it has been a great family experience.
“I would never have any interest in soccer if it weren’t for my kids involvement in the sport. It puts things in a different perspective to have them on the sideline cheering (and coaching) you,” she said.
She said playing with and against men has been fun and interesting.
“I think we balance each other out. In my opinion the men are more verbal and communicate with all teammates on the field. Women seem to encourage and compliment a job well-done,” Kirby said.
“The veteran players are great about passing the ball to the rookies, and about offering advice on where to pass it, and where you should be positioned on the field.”
Gibson said based on the positive first-season experience, he sees nothing but positive days ahead for the league.
“We anticipate seasons to come will be even more successful as the word gets out to more people,” he said.