A Brief History of the Penticton Soccer Club
The Penticton Soccer Club, as it is known today, started in 1954. Alf Preen was the first President and Jimmy Jenkins was the first Coach. The team played its first season in the Okanagan Valley Soccer League. Kamloops, Vernon, Kelowna, Osoyoos and Penticton were members of the League. The season was played in the fall and spring with the Royal Cup being the top prize played in May. Members of the team in the fall of 1954 were: Graham McLaren, Rob McLaren, Bob Conway, Wally Morgan, Ryan Conley, Charly Preen, George Brochu, Elmer Brochu, George Christy, Stan Kelly, Jim Johnson, BobRodledge, Casey Jong, Cherry Ritchy and Len Pinske. Tom McLaren and Charlie Goeckel joined the team in the spring of 1955. The team was called Queens Park Rangers and played their games at Queens Park. The team won the League and The Royal Cup in 1955 and 1956. Charlie Goeckel took over as Coach of the team in 1956 and remained as coach and manager for many years.
In 1957 we got our first sponsor and the team was called H.D.V. Construction. Peter Osborne, Nick Holtz, Helmut Gedig and Hermann Heyer had joined the team and we played quite well in The Okanagan Valley Soccer League, which now had teams from Revelstoke, North Kamloops, Cache Creek, Armstrong and second team from Kelowna joined the league. At one time the league had ten teams competing. In 1958 the team got a new sponsor and played as The Penticton Royalites.
In 1962 The Penticton Soccer Club became The I.W.A. sponsored by the The Kelowna Based Union. We played as I.W.A. for five seasons in TheOkanagan Valley Soccer League and held our own in League and Cup competition. By now we had many local players join the team and the club became bigger and we started a second team. We also started to organize a soccer tournament which is now in it’s 50th year, with teams from B.C. and Albertacompeting in both Mens and Women’s Divisions.
The team again got a new sponsor in 1966. The Molson Brewery supported the club for the next 20 years and we played as The Molson Canadian. The Valley Hotel sponsored our second team The Frontiers.
The Penticton Soccer Club started to organize a youth league in the fall of 1962. We had four teams aged 10 – 12 years. Les Robert, Helmut Gedig and Charlie Goeckel coached the four teams. The Penticton Soccer Club supplied balls and uniforms. In 1963 we had eight teams and grew to 11 teams in a short time. In 1971 George Miller and Ed Field spearheaded the reorganization of the Youth Soccer and it grew to todays numbers (2,500). Kids are now playing in Penticton and the District. In 1970 The Penticton Soccer Club organized and operated The Penticton City League. Eight teams competed in the League and for The Christy Cup. The League is still operating today and all teams are members of the League.
In 1972 The Penticton Soccer Club hosted the Montreal Olympus of The A.M.S.L. Montreal won 5:1 at Kings Park. 1,000 fans attended the game. BobJonson scored the Penticton goal.
In 1988 The Penticton Soccer Club hosted The Canadian National Team West. The Canadian Team won 3:2 at Kings Park. About 1,500 fans came out to see the game. That was the day The Soccer Club paid off the loan on The Soccer Club Building at Kings Park. The Premier at the time, Bill Vanderzalm, Minister Ivan Messmer, The May Dorothy Whittaker and other dignitaries came to celebrate with The Soccer Club members that evening.
In 1992 Penticton won the B.C. Summer Games in Port Alberni. In the final Penticton Zone 8 reps beat The Vancouver Island rep. Port Alberni 2:0. Mauricio Cepeda and Sig Pescada scored the goals. Pat Van Ryswik was in goal.
In 1993 Penticton won The B.C. Recreational Soccer Championship, beating Victoria 3:1. The final game of the tournament was held in Kelowna.
In July of 2004 The Penticton Soccer Club celebrated their 50th anniversary. We hosted The Vancouver Whitecaps. 2,500 fans watched a great game atKings Park. Bob Lenarducci of the Whitecaps played as a guest with the Penticton team. Score was Vancouver 3 Penticton 1.
In 1984 plans were made to build a Clubhouse. Ivo Jagger worked on the plans and applications for grants. In 1985 we started building the facility at KingsPark. Charlie Goeckel, Oscar Beirle and Nick Holtz took on the job of building. Many hours were spent raising money with bingos, special events, dances and raffles. The team and members of the Soccer Club spent lots of time doing a lot of work. The Clubhouse was completed in the fall of 1985. Many dignitaries were on hand for the opening celebration.
In 1990 The Soccer Club built the #3 soccer pitch. We put up a fence around the field and installed lights on the #2 pitch. Again we raised all the money to pay for everything. By the time the first ball was kicked on the new field we had paid for it. Many members deserve credit for all they have done to complete the facilities at Kings Park-Charlie Goeckel, Oscar Beirle, Nick Holtz, George Millar, Brian McMillan, Roger Handley, Bill Tulloch, Terry Peach, Dave Fraser, Peter and Andy Selles, Mike Beliveau, Zeek Pescada and many more.
In 1996 The Penticton Soccer Club joined the Pacific Coast Soccer League on a trial basis and in 1997 we joined the League as a full member. We had mostly local players and shortly found that we had to have some help. We signed a number of players from Vancouver: David Norman and SvenHaberman. Both played many years for the Canadian National Team. We showed well in the League and had lots of fans. 400 – 500 came out to watch our home games. We played for 12 years in the Pacific Coast First Division. Since 2008 we play in the Pacific Coast League Reserve Division with an Under 21 team sponsored by Tim Hortons. We also have a women’s Under 21 team playing in the Reserve Division sponsored by Structurlam. The mens team was sponsored by Night Moves in the beginning, then by Beaver Home Improvement and now by Tim Hortons.
Nick Holtz started to organize an Oldtimers Over 35 team in 1973. In 1979 The Penticton Soccer Club started an Oldtimers Tournament on Thanksgiving Weekend. Nick Holtz was the organizer. Eight teams from Prince George, Williams Lake, Vancouver, Kelowna, Kamloops, Musula, Phoenix andPenticton took part. The tournament grew to 54 men and women’s teams. The Penticton Soccer Club will host the 32nd Annual Oldtimer’s Tournament in 2011. Age groups Over 35, Over 40, Over 45 and Over 50 years of age will take part.
The Oldtimers Tournament over the years was organized by Nick Holtz, Doug Buisilla, Alex Ferreira, Gordie McPherson, Rodger Handley, Dennis Stolen, Dale Anderson, Brian Dean, Terry Peach, Dave Fraser and many more. The tournament is played over 3 days in October and is one of the most successfuloldtimer’s soccer events in the country. Teams from the Yukon Territory, Montana, Arizona, Alberta and B.C. come to Penticton year after year to enjoy our facilities and hospitality.