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Boonsboro FC jumps aboard the Locomotive train

May 30, 2012|By ANDREW MASON | andrewm@herald-mail.com

Two years ago, before Locomotive FC even had its first season of play, it had billed itself as “Washington County’s Premier Developmental Soccer Club.”

Now, two years later, it’s billing itself as Western Maryland’s.

It’s tough to argue that, especially after Locomotive FC’s recent merger with the Boonsboro Football Club. Both youth soccer organizations are now under the same banner: Locomotive FC.

Locomotive, based in Hagerstown, has roughly 200 total players, ages 4 to 18, this spring, while Boonsboro has roughly 160. Now they’re nearly 400 strong as they prepare for the fall season together as one.

“Boonsboro is now Locomotive. It’s going to be really good,” said David Jones, Locomotive FC’s director of coaching. “It’s going to allow us to share some facilities, which is always a challenge for all user groups, no matter what sport. And obviously shared coaching pools is good. Now we go from having 20 on staff at Locomotive to adding their 20 and now having 40 coaches on staff. The more coaches we have around our kids, the more exposure they have to different voices, which we think is good for the learning process.

“The player pool also just got bigger and the volunteer pool just got bigger. All of it just makes total sense for soccer in this area.”

Jim Scofield, who was president of the Boonsboro Football Club, agreed.

“Ideally, it’s the first step into a Washington County premier club, getting all the local clubs to buy into this idea of one premier club to compete with Frederick County and Northern Virginia and other places,” Scofield said. “Any time you can combine all this effort into one organization, it’s the route you want to go. ... So far, we’ve a had a good, positive response.”

Locomotive already has attracted players from across Washington County and surrounding areas in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Some players even come from as far as Cumberland, Md.

A larger pool of players will help Locomotive achieve one of its primary goals — having players compete “on age,” not with kids who might be a grade or two ahead of them in school.

“This club is about soccer players and kids,” Jones said. “To be able to get kids who are 9 to play with 9-year-olds, and who are 10 to play with 10-year-olds, and who are 11 not to have to play with almost-13-year-olds, is really important for childhood development and player development.”

Jones said the merger with Boonsboro is hopefully just the beginning of bigger and better things for Locomotive as it proceeds as a “high level travel soccer club.”

“We hope it starts to build momentum for what a high level travel club can do,” he said. “Our vision is to have a recreation track and a travel track. And if we can pull as many of these kids together and have them on age, then parents can have the recreation choice to go play with their child or the travel choice to go play with their child. It’s a growth mode, and we have to continue to consolidate organizations and attract kids.”

Locomotive has come a long way since its first season in the fall of 2010.

“It’s going a lot faster than we expected it to,” Jones said. “I think it has to do with the quality of our coaching staff, the quality of our volunteers and the quality of the soccer teaching. And all of that has consolidated into the reason that we’ve emerged as the travel club of Western Maryland, west of Frederick.

“We are the area’s club, not a town’s club,” he added. “Everything we do is about growing soccer in Western Maryland and being the leader.”

Registration and tryouts still are open for Locomotive’s fall season.

For information, visit the club’s website at www.locomotivefc.com or contact Jones at david@locomotivefc.com.

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