Riverhounds reach out to young players in Connellsville
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Members of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds soccer team made their way to Bullskin Township Saturday morning for a soggy meet-and-greet at the Connellsville Soccer Club's Shallenberger Sportsplex.
While the plan was for the team to take part in a scrimmage and then sign autographs, the rain made the event very personal right away with everyone huddled under the concession stand area.
Ryan Reitler, 8, of Connellsville, is a member of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds' youth soccer program and was disappointed that the team he admires could not perform.
“But I'm excited that they are here and that we get to talk with them,” he said.
Riverhounds strength and conditioning coach Mike Whiteman said players and coaches frequently go into communities to talk to kids who have a passion for the sport.
“We want to try and market soccer in Western Pennsylvania,” he said. “We have the academy that works with us, so we're dealing with kids all the time.”
As for the rain, Whiteman said it just made for a more intimate setting.
“This is us in our element (talking with the kids),” he said. “This is very natural for us.”
Jason Kutney, player and owner of the Riverhounds, said their primary aim is to link up with kids “who are trying to reinvest in soccer, and that's what drew us here today.”
He added that the willingness of Terry Shallenberger, who is on the Connellsville Soccer Club board, to do what's needed to provide the local children the best opportunities in soccer is key.
From June 17-20, the Riverhounds will be back in the area to host a four-day program, and later this year they will be launching an indoor Riverhounds Academy in the area.
“We have had some small satellite sites, but this is really the first time we'll be branching out to start a more permanent satellite academy,” Kutney said. “(Shallenberger) has really made this possible with his interest in helping the children in the area and bringing the training to them.”
Shallenberger said he believes the players with the Connellsville Soccer Club need to take advantage of the kind of training offered by the Riverhounds Academy.
“The Riverhounds program is so in-depth. They do such a great job,” Shallenberger said. “Getting the kids to interact with the pro players really gives them incentive to keep going.”
While there are plans to erect an indoor arena at the Shallenberger Sportsplex site sometime in the future, Shallenberger said they do have a facility in Scottdale to use for the indoor academy later this year.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates can’t overcome long rain delay, Indians in interleague setback
- New Penguin Kessel’s shot is what makes him special
- Pirates notebook: Taillon headed for surgery, Richard traded
- Russian winger Plotnikov could join Penguins in August
- Man shot, killed at East Liberty housing complex
- Gorman: Barnstorming tour bigger than baseball
- Ex-teammates say Kessel unfairly criticized
- Youngwood man’s crash knocks out power in Monessen
- More Mon Valley communities add banners honoring veterans
- Hempfield woman donates music inspired by WWI ‘doughnut girls’
- Gameday: Pirates vs. Indians, July 4, 2015