CAN THE TWO competing youth soccer organizations in Marquette finally figure out how to work together?
We may find out this Sunday. Four pm. The Power Soccer Academy and Superiorland Soccer Association will be meeting at the YMCA to see if they can work out a partnership. Leaders, coaches, parents, and kids will all be there.
It’s long overdue. The rift between the two has hurt the development of soccer in the community. It’s hurt the kids. Soccer could be as big and competitive in this county as hockey–maybe bigger–but it’s been blocked by the failure of PSA and SSA to get along.
Both organizations currently have travel teams–SSA with about 150 players (boys and girls), PSA with about 80. They both agree there should be only one organization running the travel teams. The question is who.
SSA is nonprofit, PSA is for-profit.
PSA founder Norm Power is an accomplished soccer coach who has serious connections with youth soccer all over the state. PSA’s coach Sasa Kostic, has played and coached all over the world. Great credentials for both of them. It seems pretty clear that PSA offers superior coaching to SSA where most of the coaches are parents of the kids.
SSA would love to hire Kostic as a paid coach for a new, combined travel team ( “Marquette United”?) but SSA says it would have to be in a nonprofit organization.
“It just seems to me that operating under the umbrella of a nonprofit is the better way to go,” says Randy Byma, the director of the SSA travel team. “It would help with fundraising and grants.”
So, does that mean Power would be squeezed out with such an arrangement? Kind of. SSA sees him and his organization doing camps and clinics in the UP, but not actually running the travel teams.
Power has balked at that. He insists that PSA, with its superior soccer and organizational skills, must manage the teams, with the help of some of the better-credentialed SSA coaches. As he envisions it, a board, consisting of parents from both organizations, would then oversee the program.
Can each side make it work by compromising a bit, burying their egos, forgetting the past? Sunday’s get-together may tell us whether there’s reason for hope.
IT’S ALL HUSH-hush at Community Action Alger Marquette.
The official word is, executive director Amy Lerlie is not in the office and doesn’t have access to the phones or email at the agency. An apparent suspension.
It reportedly occurred after a board meeting where charges of harassment were aired. Nothing has been proven. An investigation is underway. The story has been simmering for a few months now.
A shame. Community Action does great work in housing, nutrition, and early childhood education, helping people most in need. Lori Stephens-Brown is filling in as interim executive director until this is resolved, one way or another.
An announcement is expected in the next week or so.
SO WHAT’S BEEN the fallout from Karl Bohnak’s hilarious, profane outburst on Facebook Live last week?
Not much, except some laughing and empathy. In case you missed it, Bohnak thought he had turned off his camera while he was dealing with a troublesome computer. Well, no. The camera was still on him while he worked the keys, got annoyed, and uttered a few choice words.
Something most of us have done a time or two, or more. But fortunately not for a Facebook audience.
WLUC News Director Steve Asplund says viewers have weighed in on the incident, and it’s been approximately 98% to 2% in support of Bohnak and his all-too-human reaction.
Asplund says one viewer wrote in to Bohnak, “I didn’t know you named your computer the same thing I named mine.”
THE POLAR ROLL, coming up next weekend, February 16-18, is all filled up. Sold out.
Four hundred fifty fat-bikers in the two races. No more room.
The Roll is four years old and every year it’s grown in size. Race director Todd Poquette says the way the race is set up, they really can’t accommodate more bikers. Imagine a thousand bikes racing over the same snow- and ice-covered trail. It’d be torn up.
The 15 mile race starts and ends at Ishpeming High School. The 40 miler starts on Washington Street in downtown Marquette and ends at Ishpeming High School.
“We’re sending the poor bastards uphill,” Poquette says, straight-faced.
Uphill all the way, on snow and ice, in frigid temperatures. We’re told that some people actually enjoy it.
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