The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Soccer association’s goal becomes a reality
Mark Bushman was one of the first players in the Fredericksburg Area Soccer Association when his dad, Bill Bushman, founded it 30 years ago.
To now see FASA open its own soccer complex, Bushman said after a ribbon-cutting Saturday, is “really cool.”
The group has built fields and parking on land at the intersection of Routes 2 and 17 in Spotsylvania, with plans for 16 fields, a pavilion and concessions by next year.
While FASA teams have been playing on the new fields since June, Saturday marked the new facility’s official opening.
General manager Pete Cinalli said the facility was about eight years in the making. Spotsylvania supervisors approved it about two years ago; the price tag for the first seven fields was about $3.5 million, and the Virginia Youth Soccer Association is building another nine fields that are expected to be done sometime next year.
FASA has a membership of nearly 2,000 players, most of whom are from Fredericksburg or the surrounding counties of Stafford, Spotsylvania, King George and Caroline.
FASA wanted its own fields, rather than competing with other soccer clubs in the area to use existing fields. Having a dedicated complex, Cinalli said, will help the group host tournaments, camps and games.
One tournament, the Washington Invitational, was going on behind the group of ribbon-cutters Saturday morning. Every field was full; parents lined the sidelines in fold-up lawn chairs and the new parking lot was full, cars spilling onto the sides of the entrance road.
“This is going to look like this pretty much every weekend,” Cinalli said.
Spotsylvania County Supervisor Gary Skinner said those weekend games—with teams coming in from other regions, staying in hotels and eating in restaurants—should create “a minimum of a million [dollars] worth of revenue coming in … I think that’s a conservative estimate.”
Skinner said youth sports leagues help teach kids social interaction and values like responsibility, confidence, and respect that they might not learn in schools.
“This is where they really learn, and we shape their lives,” Skinner said. “This is a win–win for everybody.”
Skinner also used the ribbon-cutting to announce that real estate developer the Walton Group is donating $15,000 to FASA to help it build a concession stand and pavilion.
Mindy and Kyle Hibbs’ three children have played with FASA, and two are still playing with the club’s teams.
They talked about tournaments in which they had to juggle three kids playing on three teams at different fields because there weren’t enough fields at any one site for the whole tournament.
The new complex will help ease such organizational difficulties, Kyle Hibbs said, and make the club look more professional.
Their daughter Kiera, 12, just likes that the new fields are smooth and easy to play on.
“It’s not as bumpy as all the other fields,” said Kiera, a goalie with the FASA Premiere Impact team.
Chelyen Davis: 540/368-5028