New soccer club offers worldly experience

By From page A6 | December 23, 2011

A student from the UK plays soccer at a school in Beijing that Fritz Libby co-founded. Photo courtesy of Fritz Libby

A second competitive soccer club is coming to El Dorado Hills and, instead of a singular focus on soccer, those behind Ethos plan to provide additional opportunities for players to experience an education that can’t be gained on a playing field or even in a classroom.

Through travel, charity work and hosting exchanges between international soccer players, soccer will be the concrete tool used to develop global awareness in young people playing for Ethos, which aptly means “Character.”

El Dorado Hills resident and father of three, Fritz Libby, serves as Ethos Soccer’s president. Libby said he believes the formula of blending soccer and education, which he has made his life’s work overseas, will work here too. He has spent the past 18 years establishing international schools for expatriate children mainly in Asia and has witnessed firsthand how soccer bridges cultures time and again.

“They may not speak the same language, but when we invite the local children to come play soccer with the English speaking students at our schools the result has been amazing,” he said.

“We want Ethos to be a select and competitive soccer club that develops excellent soccer skills, but we also want to have a club that doesn’t stop at soccer,”Libby said of the El Dorado Hills club.

Libby has already fostered relationships all over the globe for youth exchanges. One Chinese government-sponsored school has already committed to sending 12-year-olds from remote parts of China to come here next summer to play soccer. Through fundraising and corporate sponsorships, Libby would like to see Ethos players also travel overseas in the near future.

El Dorado Hills resident Diana Fedrow is eager to sign her fifth-grade son up for Ethos when tryouts are held this January. “Since most kids won’t go on to play soccer as a career, I think of Ethos as a great opportunity for kids to play soccer while also learning about the world around them,” Fedrow said.

Libby is wary of encroaching on EDUSA territory, currently the only competitive soccer club in El Dorado Hills. He wants Ethos to be seen as an interesting, additional choice and would like nothing more than to partner with EDUSA and other already established clubs in the region.

Ethos is also navigating other issues like field openings to hold practices. Still, these are small bumps in an otherwise very clear plan. Libby summed it up best when he said, “I just want to see kids moving around the world. I want to open as many doors for kids as possible.”

Ethos Soccer is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. For more information visit Tryouts will be held in January for both the Ethos select and competitive teams.

Julie Samrick

Discussion | 12 comments

  • Concerned ResidentJanuary 01, 2012 - 9:08 am

    Ethos is part of El Dorado United.

  • Nathan JohnstonJanuary 02, 2012 - 8:29 pm

    Ethos Soccer Club is not affiliated with El Dorado United at all. Ethos is a new option for Soccer in the area with a different approach. You can find additional information on the Club’s website:

  • Concerned ResidentJanuary 04, 2012 - 7:59 pm

    To bad you are not assoicated with El Dorado United. They are a great club and having multiple clubs especially a new club that does not have history will only hurt the kids in our community. Ethos should look at merging with El Dorado United.

  • Very Concerned ResidentJanuary 05, 2012 - 9:38 am

    Not sure what rock you sleep under in EDH but if your kids play soccer in EDH and you haven't heard of the low-level terrorist management style of Mr. Henry Reis as the head of El Dorado United Soccer club then you are truly clueless. Mr. Henry Reis has single-handedly destroyed the reputation of our community with his strong-arm tactics thus driving hundreds of kids away from the sport of soccer and forcing the rest to flee to other clubs that are out-of-town. The impact on EDH residents is huge. So huge, that the fed-up residents started their own club thus...Ethos Soccer. Really not sure what kind of amateur shill you are, dispensing disinformation into our community about such an unethical businessman like Henry Reis. It's shameful. You stating that a new healthy environment for kids to play soccer under "will only hurt the kids in our community?" is only evidence that you are indeed an amateur schill at best. Henry Reis is done. And his time as coach at the local high school will be coming to an end as well. He has worn out his welcome in our community as well as his robotic minions that serve under his dictatorship.

  • Wow!January 05, 2012 - 4:14 pm

    Jeez, is this an example of the "different approach" Ethos will have? Someone needs to look up the definition of "ethos." If the new club is as vitriolic as the response above, I don't want my kid being part of it.

  • Concerned ResidentJanuary 05, 2012 - 8:34 pm

    Totally agree with Wow!. Why would anyone want to go to Ethos or be assoiciated with parents that are with Ethos when they talk bad about a person. Would hate to have any child see a adult talk this way about another person. That person should be aware of character degradation.

  • amused parentJanuary 06, 2012 - 3:47 pm

    you think soccer is bad, try football for abuse and strong arm tactics. this stream is funny after surviving years of jr trojan football.

  • A parent with a choiceJanuary 07, 2012 - 10:07 am

    I know that the people involved in Ethos never comment in a negative fashion. However they do believe other options are good in giving families choices as to where they wish to play. A good way to find out first hand is to attend the parent information nights, ask questions and then form an opinion as to what will be best for your child. I know my decision will be based on what is best for my son, and consequently our time and money. I need to have confidence of good faith and communication from whatever club we choose.

  • Let's call me New Resident if we are all anonymous :)January 09, 2012 - 7:48 am

    I have to agree with Wow! "Very Concerned Resident" sounds like a scorned lover. I find it hard to believe that one person makes the world come crashing in around our soccer club......and no I'm not Henry (I hardly know him). If Ethos means character then "Very Concerned Resident" has little if any. Two things: 1. "Very Concerned Resident" should identify him/her, and not hide behind a keyboard and an anonymous post. 2. If Mr. Libby wants to do what he mentions in his own press release - "He wants Ethos to be seen as an interesting, additional choice and would like nothing more than to partner with EDUSA and other already established clubs in the region." He should immediately denounce "Very Concerned Resident"......yet I have not seen that. To me this negativity is not about the kids, but about the parents. Having been part of more than one club, and in "the know" with both, my experience has been that the parents are typically the biggest nightmare. All parents should go into this knowing that your focus and determination should be channeled to your kids getting good grades and a good education. When I have seen kids start to have a bad experience with something it is generally because their over-zealous parent(s) are chirping in their ear. Let's all move past this 2nd grade stuff, step back, and let our kids experience the joy of playing what the the sport that they like to play at a high level.

  • over-zelous parent(s)January 24, 2012 - 12:21 pm

    We are over-zealous parent(s), and proud of it!... And also hated by some in this town for it, because we protect, and we care about our kids...We are involved. I knew one 17 year old boy (personally) in this El Dorado Hills town who's parents were not over-zealous parents (not personally involved in his life enough with him), and he hung himself here in our town on New Years Day. I saw this sadly coming in a dream I had, and even in his deep hurt I saw deep within his face as I looked into his eyes, and I tried to reach out to him, but I was not his parent. He wanted, and he needed an over-zealous parent(s) badly, I could see, and he tried to get it from me who he saw was an over-zealous parent who was involved and there for my own kids, but I could not replace his own mom/dad I heard and saw he desperately so needed. He was a 1st. string Varsity soccer player at Oak Ridge, and one of the very best players, and he played sports all his childhood even into his last days here in El Dorado Hills even into pre young adulthood, and he loved soccer and had the passion and heart to play soccer and he also played under Coach Reis who conditioned him and helped train him to be the best soccer player that he was to the end. He made a lot of great soccer goals in his short lifetime. As a parent I also saw he was a totally awesome kid in so many ways, and very special and gifted who sadly did not have over-zealous parents and mainly relied on grandma who tried to do her best I know because she, grandma told me this in a hurry as she shuffled him off as she said in front of him that his parents were very busy with his other many sisters. I saw the hurt as he got in my car. Parents, PLEASE, Be over-zealous parents, do not be too busy to go to your kids soccer/sports games, drive them, change plans when you can, hug your kids, let your kids know you care about them, talk with them, be a BIG part of their lives, in everything, incl. school and sports, and protect them from 'some' of the bad seeds (leaders) working and running this town/world as you teach them, and show them, by good examples daily, in your own speech, and in your own personal life, and teach them what is right from wrong in people/leaders, and what to watch out for. "Be the Parent & Not the Friend!" The ones (leaders/coaches, etc...) who will hate you as a over-zealous parent or even talk bad about you and even down you and this e-mail I write are the ones who have hate, and jelousy and wrong control within themselves, and who have their own bad intentions (attitudes) going out towards kids they teach or coach. Some sadly are even parents who will only hate you for your over-zealous parenting you have for your own kids, because they know, and they see your good parenting, and they lack in this area. All kids are special, and all kids have wonderful gifts and talents. Protect that in them from the ones who will abuse them, if they can. Give Ethos a try if you want, and hopefully Mr. Libby will do what Coach Reis does, and NOT even waste his time in all of this. I am not a coach, just a parent, but I can just see the love and care for the kids that Ethos coaches can have given the chance here, and also the passion of the game. Remember, it is about our kids and youth in this town who love to play soccer, or any sport for that matter that builds CHARACTER. It is something our own kids have, because of some of the great over-zealous coaches we have had and some great teachers too here, and because we are over-zealous parents who are involved and who care. "Play Ball Ethos and I say Good Luck to You! You will need it living here, and playing here in El Dorado Hills!"

  • LaughingJanuary 16, 2012 - 11:25 am

    do not have a kid in soccer, but have kids in other sports. I am just wondering if some of you realize how ridiciulous you sound?

  • Another-Concerned-ResidentJanuary 30, 2012 - 2:26 pm

    More soccer opportunities available to our children is only a good thing, those clubs that can offer great experiences and allow our children to nurture into honest, respectable adults should be encouraged. If people want to know more about Ethos soccer they should go to their pre-tryout clinics and information nights. I know I will be putting my child in the clinics this week just so I can see for myself what the coaches and board members are like.



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