Special anniversary dinner slated for Sunday
Eleven-year-old Noah Cacciacarro kicks the ball around with his nine-year-old brother Nevan at MacassaPark, home of the Mount Hamilton Youth Soccer Club
He was wearing a walking boot to protect an injured right foot, but by now the walking boot is long gone.
Just in time too as another season of Mountain Hamilton Youth Soccer Club action is underway.
“You always have to be thinking and where’s your next move and where you have to pass and you have to anticipate where to go,” said Noah who is a member of the U11 rep team.
Nevan is an U10 rep player.
The Ancaster youths are among 2,200 house league and 400 rep players, age 4-18, who have registered with MHYSC that is celebrating its 50th anniversary this season.
“We’re one of the longest running clubs in the city,” said Anthony Venneri, grass roots head coach at the Mountain club.
He takes over some of the duties of Carl Horton, the former MHYSC head coach, who has accepted a position with the Ontario Soccer Association.
Venneri said club players learn more than just soccer skills.
“I’m a big believer in holistic development,” he said. “So it’s life skills as well, teamwork, communication, all of those things.”
The Mountain club dates back to the spring of 1964 when a group of boys formed two teams under the name Linden Park.
Cliff Marshall was one of the coaches and at the end of that season he was appointed chairman of the Mountain club by the Hamilton and District Soccer Association.
Marshallis a Hamilton Soccer Hall of Fame inductee.
Like the Mountain community, the club began to grow, drawing players from all over Hamilton.
The club will celebrate its 50th anniversary at a dinner at Carmen’s Banquet Centre this Sunday.
Among the changes in recent years is the club’s partnership with Toronto FC and Hamilton United along with the Stoney Creek, Ancaster and Saltfleet soccer clubs.
The U16 and U19 divisions play interlocking games at Heritage GreenPark while other MHYSC games are played at Macassa and Bill Sherring parks and Hill Park high school.
Back at the club house nestled at the back of MacassaPark, the 2014 World Cup that begins next week has boosted interest in soccer among the players and the parents.
“There’s a lot more enthusiasm from all the kids,” Venneri said.
For more information about MHYSC or the 50th anniversary, see mhysc.org.