Longmont Soccer Club Selected As Oktoberfest Beneficiary While Enjoying On-field Success

September 22, 2018

St. Vrain FC member Lauren Knorr, 16, participates in a drill at the start of practice at Sandstone Ranch on Friday. The soccer club will be the beneficiary of Left Hand Brewing's Oktoberfest Oct. 5 and 6.

If you go

What: Longmont Oktoberfest

When: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 5; noon to 9 p.m. Oct. 6

Where: Roosevelt Park, 700 Longs Peak Ave.

Cost: $15 admission Friday gets you in Saturday, too; Saturday-only admission $5. VIP tickets available

Tickets: https://tickets.lhbfoundation.org/e/oktoberfest/tickets

The 36-year-old Longmont youth soccer club St. Vrain FC is seeing unprecedented success on the field the past two seasons, and its mission of ensuring kids across the city can play even if their families can’t afford the full cost of the travel team is a big reason why.

Oct. 5 and 6, residents and visitors have the chance to further the soccer club’s capacity to extend opportunities to play by hoisting a stein. St. Vrain FC, a nonprofit started in 1982, was selected by Longmont’s Left Hand Brewing as the beneficiary of its Oktoberfest fundraiser, which the brewery is hosting for a seventh year.

By then, members of three St. Vrain FC teams will know whether they are going onto high-caliber, out-of-state regional tournaments in the spring.

Two St. Vrain FC girls’ teams — one of 16- and 17-year-olds, the other of 14- and 15-year-olds — have matches Sunday in Aurora in a tournament known as the President’s Cup. Both are fighting to be the Longmont club’s first girls teams to win the event.

A team of 11- and 12-year-old boys also plays Sunday in a tournament known as the State Cup, and could travel to Idaho for a regional tournament in the spring with a victory against a Broomfield club.

St. Vrain FC’s first boys President’s Cup title came in 2017 for a group that won it again this spring and are now mostly seniors in Longmont high schools, St. Vrain FC President Dan Jones said

A team of boys 19 and under also won the President’s Cup earlier this year.

Jones said the barrage of wins in Colorado’s highest levels of youth soccer is a first for the club.

The older girls team also will face a rival Broomfield club Sunday, and the 14- and 15-year-old girls play a Westminster club.

“Oh my goodness, I want that (win) so bad. For my team, and for me, it would feel so good to have that big accomplishment,” 16-year-old St. Vrain FC player and Silver Creek High School junior Eliana Miller said.

More than 2,000 kids ages 4 to 19 across Longmont and the Carbon Valley participate in St. Vrain FC, which includes recreational and competitive soccer programs.

“I’ve been a part of St. Vrain my entire life. St. Vrain is almost family, I know all the coaches, I coach rec, my parents coach, my brother is a part of the club. It’s so amazing to see that St. Vrain is finally getting the recognition they deserve because we’ve been working hard, and started small,” Miller said.

The club doles out about $85,000 annually to families to help them afford the travel soccer program, and Jones said he hopes that amount will grow next year thanks to the Left Hand Oktoberfest fundraiser.

The additional funding could be especially critical for the boys’ team members who were victorious in their President’s Cup and are traveling to keep playing as a club after this fall’s high school season, as well as for any of the girls’ clubs that qualify to move on this weekend.

“When a kid says, ‘My team now is qualified for this tournament,’ then it puts pressure onto their families to pay for them (to travel),” Jones said. “With some of this money, we can say, ‘You’ve earned this.’ It means a great deal for some of these players.”

Proceeds generated by the Oktoberfest event will be split between St. Vrain FC and Left Hand Brewing Foundation.

“For Oktoberfest, it’s a really local festival. In thinking about a beneficiary, we wanted to pick an organization that had a broad reach and impacted a lot of folks and families in Longmont. (St. Vrain FC) is obviously a big part of the community. We wanted to do what we could to support them and their scholarship program,” Left Hand Director of Marketing Jill Preston said.

Oktoberfest’s headliner on Oct. 5 will be southern rock band JJ Grey and Mofro, with the rest of the event’s schedule is yet to be announced.

Tickets are required for entry into the event and can be purchased at https://tickets.lhbfoundation.org/e/oktoberfest/tickets.

Sam Lounsberry: 303-473-1322, slounsberry@prairiemountainmedia.com and twitter.com/samlounz .

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