This Month in Marin FC summarizes the month’s news and notes in a series of ‘high-level’ briefs from various club constituents.
In This Edition
From the President
Here are a few highlights and news tidbits from the past month:
True to this time of year, the skies darken somewhat just before the dawn. The anticipated sunrise, which promises to dry the fields, is the array of soccer fast approaching us. March and April will fly by and before we know it, the burning bright midday light of May tryouts will be upon us.
Many thanks this month to our staff and senior coaches who are handling the usual hailstorm of scheduling, rescheduling, cancellations and last minute adjustments. The spring always reveals its surprises like a magician whom we think we have figured out but are left perpetually one step behind. Our managers, treasurers and parent-body make the spring shift back from high school to club play, possible and indeed easy.
The Spring Institute spans March and April and as of this writing is host to double the number of players compared to 2018’s inaugural year. In many senses, the future of our club and teams are on display in the Institute’s training and game sessions. Players as young as four are using the Institute to lace up their cleats and experiment with their possible love of the game. Thanks to all the coaches who are rotating through and making every session fun and full of potential.
In February we renewed our application to the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) and admissions are expected to be announced through March and April. To express our commitment and enthusiasm, we hand delivered to the ECNL offices in Virginia our application and supporting materials and had a chance to chat with some of their top staff including the league commissioner, about how Marin FC will contribute to the league and continue to pioneer the craft of player development. No changes were made in our ECNL division last year and as we have persisted in top results and various rankings, the signs are quite hopeful for admission this year to a growing western section.
As the spring light rises and the days heat up, keep an eye on the website for the latest news and announcements. There’s much afoot including summer camps and programs, the coaching slate for ‘19-20, a club informational open house, and layouts for team and league advancements, all of which will be posted as soon as we can finalize the details. Look for us on FaceBook too. Posts of club news and notables will come to your feed.
Lastly, immense thanks and respect to Ian Tonks as he leaves his role as Director of Development after almost 10 years of service. Ian took care of the club from visioning to vital details, and in true Ian form handed over immaculate records of his years of work to our new Director of Club Operations. Thanks Ian and enjoy the Palm Desert sun!
Evan Cross, President
Board of Directors
Ian Tonks joined the Marin FC in 2009 as our Director of Development and was instrumental in the planning and organization of most fundraising events. In fact, there has not been a Marin FC event since 2009 where Ian would not be available and present to help out. He is also the creator of “In the Spotlight” – the popular player interview section of the monthly newsletter, which Ian produced on a regular basis for over 9 years. Ian’s hard work, dedication, insights and guidance have been instrumental to Marin FC and he will be sorely missed for all of his professional contributions as well as his personal friendship. Thanks for helping us grow the club while keeping the focus on the player to ensure their continued growth and development. We wish him and his family all the best as they relocate to Palm Springs and embark on new adventures.
Bo Stehlin on behalf of the Marin FC BOD
From the Director of Coaching
Here are a few highlights and news tidbits from the past month:
The months of February are March reflected a relatively quiet time of the year for the Marin FC, while our players were finishing up with their respective high school seasons. As always we are quite proud of their successes and how they represent MFC while playing for their high school teams. However, It is not unnoticed that when it is time for end of season honors such as all-league teams, MVP, Player of the Week awards and rosters in general – it’s often comprised of MFC players.
On the MFC front, our Academy Teams began league games in early February after a 3-month break while our youngest boys continued honing their technical skill during Saturday fast footwork sessions with DOC Ben Swann.
Off the field, the DOC’s have nearly concluded their choices for this upcoming season coaching slate. As for myself, I’m part of a small committee comprised of 4 DOC’s in Cal North and 3 Nor Cal Administrators in an effort to evaluate the ever-changing landscape of youth soccer. This leadership committee will continue to analyze the annual programming for all ages with an eye for the possible creation of new NorCal wide leagues. There is a lot of thought, time and energy within this group discussing strategies that may change how we develop our player’s long term! Stay tuned, as there is more to come on that front.
– Josh Kalkstein, DOC
In the Spotlight
This month’s spotlight features an interview with Boston College freshman, Alexia (Lex) Lemma. Here’s what she had to say:
Tell our readers a little about yourself.
I was born in La Paz, Bolivia and moved to the United States with my parents and two brothers when I was six years old. I grew up in Sonoma, California and attended Marin Academy in San Rafael. In high school, my main sports going into freshman year where actually basketball and volleyball as I played year-round volleyball at Absolute.
Recollect your Marin FC experience if you will.
When I first joined Marin FC my freshman year I was on the 00 Red team and within a month got moved up to the 99 Blue team. This was incredible because playing with older girls pushed me to get better faster and adjust to the evolving game. Overall, I had an incredible Marin FC experience and still keep in touch with many of my teammates. Over breaks, I still come back and practice with the younger teams. The coaches especially Tyler and Kelly were all super experienced and help to shape the player that I am, as I prepared to play college soccer.
What other schools did you look at and why did you ultimately Boston College?
I applied and looked at schools both in the East and West Coast. In the end, I was deciding between USC, Wake Forest, and Boston College. I choose Boston College because I knew it would provide me a holistic college experience. I loved the school, the location, and I had the opportunity to be part of an ACC D1 soccer program.
What were some of the adjustments you had to make to successfully transition from club to collegiate ball?
The game is a lot faster, people are stronger, more technical, and shoot the ball a lot harder. I had to adjust the strategies in how I played and positioned myself especially being a goalkeeper. But once you have this you are still playing soccer so I just play my game and use my strengths to my advantage.
Summarize your collegiate soccer career to date. What have been some of the highlights?
It has been an incredible experience to be part of something greater than myself. Competing at the highest level has given me the opportunity to prove my skills as a player and an Athlete. The highlight has to be always being immersed in a competitive environment where everyone is striving to be the best player they can be. Also competing in the NCAA tournament was definitely a highlight.
What are you learning as a collegiate athlete that you’ll take into post collegiate life?
A lot of time management and hard work. Playing a D1 sport in college takes a lot of time and you have to work hard to be able to balance soccer with academics and social life. It is important to know when you need to sacrifice and take a breath and when you need to buckle down and grind. Additionally, getting involved with school activities and clubs outside of soccer has been really rewarding.
From athletics to academics. What are you studying?
I am currently in the Carroll School of Management and studying Business with a concentration in Finance and Business Analytics.
Any thoughts about life after college?
Being a freshman I still have quite some time, but I will be getting a job.
The Marin FC alumni community is alive and well. Do you keep in touch with many of your former teammates?
Yes, I am still very good friends with many of them and see them often during breaks.
Anyone you want to thank or recognize at Marin FC?
I would like to thank the Marin FC community as a whole as it is incredibly supportive, especially my teammates and coaches. Josh Kalkstein; my High School coach at Marin Academy pushed me to become the player and athlete I am. Freshman year, I had never played in goal before and Josh would always stay after practice to help me improve. Without him, my love for soccer wouldn’t have grown to what it is today. Tyler Gottschalk and Kelly Coffey, my club coaches helped me grow and improve as a player. Lastly, Shane Kennedy who really pushed me outside my comfort zone as a Goalkeeper.
Before I let you go, give us a little insight into your interests and passions. Name three books on your book shelf, three gadgets you couldn’t live without, and three artists/bands in your iPod.
Behind the Beautiful Forevers, The Glass Castle, Book Thief.
How can our readers follow you if they’d like to track your athletic activities?
They can follow our team at https://bceagles.com/roster.aspx?roster=386&path=wsoc
From the Director of Club Operations
Got Team News?
To share a game summary or tournament recap:
- Visit MarinFC.com
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- Click ‘Submit an Article’
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Edited posts will be added to our website homepage “latest club news” section and posted on our Facebook page within 48 hours. We encourage you to use this tool to keep all in the club informed re: individual and team accomplishments. A big thanks to those of you that use it already.
– Jamie Firmage, Director of Club Operations