Planning already underway to host OFSAA girls’ soccer

The 2000 OFSAA girls’ soccer championship is more than a year away but organizers already are meeting to discuss what needs to be done to host the 16-team tournament here.
The organizing committee, led by Rick Wiedenhoeft and Jason Kabel, and spearheaded by Muskie girls’ soccer head coach Struchan Gilson, met for the first time last Thursday.
But while that initial meeting attracted about a dozen people willing to help out, organizers were hoping to get a lot more interest.
“We had about 12 people out and we assigned a different person to each committee,” Wiedenhoeft noted, which include hospitality and accommodations, transportation, banquet and opening ceremonies, and officials.
“We want to get people out and we’ll brainstorm to have all the jobs straightened out for OFSAA,” he added.
Organizers also have to make sure Westfort field is in proper condition in time for OFSAA next June. Based on his past experiences at all-Ontario tournaments, Gilson said they’ll need three adequate fields to play on.
The two fields at St. Francis will be used, as well as the Westfort field closest to the new school. The other field will be used as a practice site.
Gilson, who admitted he was “disappointed” with last Thursday’s turnout, hopes more people come out to the next meeting slated May 11 at the high school.
It’s imperative they get more people out, he stressed, adding they plan to meet again right after this year’s all-Ontario soccer championships (June 1-2).
The committee also is looking at sending a rep to this year’s girls’ showdown in Hamilton as an observer.
Meanwhile, even though the tournament is more than a year away, Gilson warned time is starting to run out, especially considering the town has never hosted a provincial soccer championship before.
(Fort Frances has hosted the hockey all-Ontarios twice and curling once).
“It may be a little harder to find volunteers because this is traditionally a hockey town but with the popularity of the sport here, we should get people interested in helping out, Wiedenhoeft said.
“And we already have people heading the committees so we now need people to help out–and they don’t need to know much about soccer,” he stressed.
“We just need people to help out.”