Southwest High School was the place to be on Thursday evening for a free futbol clinic, thanks to a partnership involving AYSO Matrix South Bay, SoccerNation and the Army National Guard. The session was part of the National Guard’s Grassroots Soccer (GRS) program. The program was created to inform and educate high school-aged soccer players, their parents, club coaches, and high school and college coaches about how joining the Guard can assist youth with reaching their educational goals.
Matrix South Bay Director of Coaching Guillermo “Memo” Medina helped coordinate the session, and was supported by Matrix (San Diego) Director of Coaching Mike Hovenic. Both Hovenic and Medina hold USSF B Licenses. Instructors included Marco Beltran, who is SOH Women’s Varsity Coach, and Matrix South Bay Coaches Hector Romo and Santiago Villanueva.
The National Guard’s game plan is to open the doors of possibilities for today’s youth soccer players. Interested in helping the scholar athletes, the National Guard is sponsoring the free clinics as well as providing a meal and T shirts for all the players. The clinics have been well received by players and parents alike. With the sound of an occasional Navy helicopter overhead, Southwest High seemed to be the perfect place to host. The South Bay is home to one of the highest concentrations of military-connected families in San Diego County.