Clovis soccer players getting kicks indoors

By Eric Butler

They practice in junior high gymnasiums and a barn north of Clovis.

As strange as it may sound, it makes perfect sense for eight Clovis soccer teams that just wrapped up the fall season of indoor soccer in Amarillo.

The season began in the first weekend of November for teams ranging in age from an 8 and under (or, U8 in soccer terminology) division to high schoolers.

Four Clovis teams vied for, or won outright, championships as the competition came to a close Saturday and Sunday.
Clovis Crush, a U10 girls team, was one of two teams with a chance to take its 10-team division, according to coach Scott Martin.

“It’s like a hockey rink: It’s got glass all the way around it,” said Martin, describing the set-up for teams in the North Texas Indoor Soccer League. “It’s got Astroturf and there’s no out-of-bounds, because the ball bounces off the plexiglass. The game goes superfast, there are no offsides (penalties) in indoor — it’s a wonderful game.”

For age divisions from 10 years old and younger, each team fields six players and a goalkeeper. In divisions older than 10, it’s five regular players and a keeper.

Cyclones 88, a boys U16 team from Clovis coached by Donnie Aragon, has already clinched its five-team division. Aragon’s squads practice in the gymnasiums at Gattis and Yucca junior high.

For the teams coached by Eddie Schaap, a local dairyman, practices are conducted in a barn.

“It’s a 200-by-100 (foot) barn that was there on the farm. We roll the equipment out of it this time of year and use it for practicing,” Schaap said. “The barn had grain-holding capacity, so it’s got these wooden walls in there.”

Two of Schaap’s squads — in U13 and U18 boys divisions — headed into the weekend with a shot at wrapping up championships, too.

Martin said another Amarillo-based season will get under way at the beginning of January. Two or three Clovis teams are expected to compete in that league.

Another one-weekend competition will take place in Hobbs next week. Martin, a construction worker by trade, is looking forward to the time when area teams won’t have to head out of town every weekend to play indoor soccer.

“That’s one thing we’re trying for with this convention center that they’re talking about in Clovis,” Martin said. “If they can get this done, we would be interested in leasing it for five weeks out of the year to do an indoor soccer league.”