Ethos Soccer makes great strides
One year ago they didn’t have practice fields or even entry into the area competitive league, but midway through Ethos soccer club’s inaugural season the approximately 100 kids that comprise eight competitive teams of U10- U14 players are shining in regional tournaments while living the organization’s creed of “character, commitment and community.”
With a staff of paid, professional coaches, quality soccer is at the core of the competitive club, yet what makes Ethos different is its motto of opening as many doors as possible to young people. And part of developing character, or Ethos, is understanding how other cultures live, said El Dorado Hills resident and president of Ethos Fritz Libby.
Two Chinese brothers are currently staying with the Libby family for two weeks to pilot the Ethos soccer youth exchange program. Soccer playing is the common denominator between Libby’s own sons and the boys, ages 10 and 12, but Libby said he believes permanent bridges will be built between the kids long after the soccer games have been played. As a founder of international schools in Asia over the past two decades, Libby has seen how soccer can be the connection between young people from different backgrounds time and again.
Next June the U12 and older Ethos teams and their families will travel to China. They plan to visit children who attend international schools and will also visit rural communities. Plans for charity work are also in the works.
Personal self-development is just as integral a part of Ethos, according to Libby. Members took Jiu-Jitsu classes together when it was recognized that the same philosophies of discipline and self-respect are also taught there.
Libby takes the word “club” quite literally. “We are a club where people belong. We look after one another,” he said. “It’s common to see kids who play select or competitive soccer burn out before they even start middle school, but at Ethos we believe that fostering the whole child, and finding balance, is key.”
New El Dorado Hills resident Brent Burns agrees. “There is no shortage of soccer teams in the area,” said Burns, who moved to El Dorado Hills from Walnut Creek last fall, but when choosing which soccer club to have his now sixth-grade son try out for, Burns said Ethos stood out because of its unique opportunities to shape young people. “Where most soccer clubs stop at soccer, Ethos goes above and beyond,” he added.
The success of the organization couldn’t have been possible without the families, Libby said. “We had families take a risk on us this first year,” he explained. With his vision and the commitment of what he calls “the pioneer first group of parents” he’s got on board, Libby said he hopes to see the soccer club grow to include more age brackets.
Ethos will hold a fall academy open to all players, not only Ethos members, to work on their soccer skills. For more information visit ethossoccer.org.