Town Soccer Kicks Off on Henderson

Travel Foxes Show Early Strength

by Cayla Gaffney

Saturday, September 10 was the kick off of the storied Swarthmore tradition, Town Soccer.  Saturday morning from 8:30 to 11:30, with two sessions, (birth year 2012-2017 and 2016-2017), eight teams per session, came up with fun team names, practiced drills and games, and finally ended with a game competing against one of the other teams. 

Players gathered in a circle with Town Soccer Director Billy Lynch, where they cheered and warmed up with high knees, skipping, and stretching.  In a smaller circle, they sang the Town Soccer classic, “Town Soccer, Town Soccer, Ole, Ole, Ole…” After warmup, players joined SRA Director Sara Kelly and Director of Programming TJ Loper for sorting day where they received colored shirts and headed off with their teams for drills and games.

As she received her shirt, six-year-old Savannah Drane, age 6, said, “I’m excited to play.” 

Swarthmore Soccer 2014 girls in action, photo by Molly May

The atmosphere at this event every Saturday morning is electric. Teammates chat excitedly, and coaches demonstrate techniques and games that these young players love to learn. Not only do they learn these new skills but also improve over just a few sessions. Asked how he feels about the improvement, Coach Billy says, “I feel happy. I’m extremely proud of them, and excited to see how those skills will grow.” 

Once kids had gathered with their team they came up with silly and fun team names. One group, sporting sapphire blue shirts, settled on the name “Sapphire Socks.” The yellow team agreed upon “The Toasted Marshmallows.” Silly and fun names like this contribute to an overall atmosphere of fun.  

Names secured, it was on to drills and games. Patrick Benzing, a player with the Toasted Marshmallows, liked a game called “Fox and Chicken.” He explains the game like this, “There’s one fox and the rest are chickens. If the fox gets your ball, then you turn into a fox.” Elizabeth Gaffney, age 7, says the highlight of her session was “Dribbling and shooting!”

After the drills, teams came together for scrimmages, refereed by Sports Mentors.  Sports Mentors are middle- and high-school players who assist Coach Billy with all elements of Town Soccer.  Strath Haven High School freshman Sam Spector, a second-year Sports Mentor, said being a Sports Mentor is about, “making sure the kids don’t hurt themselves. It’s good to have an older person they can look up too.” Coach Erin of the Sapphire Socks, says she enjoy coaching and thought the first session went well. “Everyone was enthusiastic,” she said.

Swarthmore Soccer 2014 girls go for the goal, photo by Molly May

On the travel side of the club, Swarthmore Soccer teams battled out the first few weeks on the pitch.  Reports from early games include the following:

In their first game, the 2009 boys team lost 3-0 to Springfield Celtic FC on a hot sunny Saturday afternoon at Henderson.  The Foxes only had 12 players but were fortunate that Richard Kim and Thomas Miller from the 2010B team agreed to help out.   Richard and Thomas both just played a tough match in the hot sun for their 2010B team and then played more than half the game for the 2009B team.  With speed and strength, Matt Styer anchored the Foxes defense as “sweeper” doing his best to fend off the opposing attackers.  Matt played the entire game!

For the 2010 boys, Richard Kim, Gabriel Carone, and Charlie Posternack have shown strong performances, even when the score was against the team.

The 2011 boys team won their home opener against Haverford. In front of a hometown crowd, the team came together for a nail biter 3-2 win, with the winning goal scored in the last minute of the game. 

2013 girls team goalies Emma and Dakota had terrific saves on a rainy Sunday that failed to damped the Foxes’ spirits.

The 2013 Silver Foxes took Brandywine 2-1 on September 17 on the back of goals by Jonah Peltzman and Joey Dibona.  Their compatriots on the Red Foxes suffered a tough loss after a hard fight against West-Mont United.

Lacrosse camp links youth, high school players

by Jo Kelly

The Swarthmore Recreation Association began the first of a series of programs connecting high school varsity players with youth athletes on August 23, at Rutgers Field. 

The camp, focused on teaching Haven Youth Lacrosse players new techniques that realistically translate to the field, was organized and run entirely by the Strath Haven boys varsity lacrosse team. The program served as a fund-raising event for the high school players.  Eighty percent of the proceeds were given to the team for future use. 

The second morning of the camp was clear and cool, ideal weather for playing. HYL players ranging in ages from 10 to 14 were arriving at Rutgers laden with pads, helmets, and enormous water jugs, while the SHHS varsity boys had already begun discussing the agenda for the day. Some of the younger boys settled on the bleachers and were having an animated discussion about whether or not they would scrimmage that day (a favorite activity among the youth lacrosse players of Nether-Swarthmore).

One of these boys was John Kelly, a rising sixth grader and defender on the HYL team. When asked what his favorite thing about the HYL lacrosse camp was, Kelly promptly answered, “Smacking people with sticks…the coaches let us play more here and so I get to do a lot of hitting.” Fellow player Chris Patterson, a rising fifth grader and midfielder, said his favorite were, “One v. one drills,” a drill in which two players face off against each other in an attempt to either attain or retain possession. 

Not only was the camp a lot of fun for the boys, it was also educational. Kelly had recently learned the “swim dodge,” a skill frequently employed by the Strath Haven varsity players to evade a defender in close proximity while simultaneously throwing the defender off-balance. Jude Korb, a rising seventh grader and midfielder, explained that he was working on mastering the goal line extended drill, a technique involving behind-the-cage shooting and shooting around a defender. 

The coaches also realized the benefits of the program. Ben Orye, a rising senior and varsity defender on Strath Haven who has played lacrosse for nine years, appreciated that the HYL camp “connects high schoolers with youth” and “helps [him] see lacrosse from a coaching perspective,” rather than from the perspective of a high school player. Orye previously had “a little bit of experience with coaching; it’s fun.” Orye’s close friend and fellow player, Jamison Soeiro, rising senior and varsity attackman, also enjoyed the camp, saying that he most especially enjoyed “hanging out with [his] friends while also teaching little kids.” Both agreed that the camp was “really fun and a great opportunity.” Soeiro joked, “It’s definitely chaotic,” later adding that “[that’s] what makes this camp different.”

2017 New Year’s Day 5K and Family Race Results!

The Swarthmore Recreation Association held another successful New Year’s Day 5K and kids’ runs on Jan. 1, 2017. On a beautiful, sunny Sunday with 45-degree temperatures, the 5K attracted 206 finishers, with dozens more children participating in the kids’ runs on the Swarthmore College track.



The winning 5K time of 16:59 went to Kevin Donnelly, and the first seven finishers, including women’s winner Jenn Cronin (18:09), all ran sub-6:00 miles.

Full Results are available at Run The Day!

Swarthmore-based photographer Andy Shelter again took hundreds of amazing photos at the race. They are available for viewing and downloading at Andy’s website.

Have a wonderful year. See you Jan. 1, 2018!

New Years Day 5K is coming up quick!

Registration is open for SRA New Year’s Day 5K

Kick off 2017 in one of the best ways possible. The family-friendly SRA New Year’s Day 5K starts at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, at Swarthmore College’s Lamb-Miller Field House and travels through the beautiful borough of Swarthmore. Race-day registration and packet pickup begins at 9 a.m. in the field house.

Unique wooden race medals are awarded to the top two finishers in each age group. Kids’ races are held on the college track at 11:30 a.m. for children ages 2 through 13. Long-sleeve tech T-shirts are given to 5K participants (first 200 registrants) and cotton short-sleeve T-shirts to kids’ race participants.

Register via

It is $25 to register in advance and $30 on race day for the 5K. Registration for the kids’ runs is $5. Family maximum of $100.

New Year's Day Race
New Year’s Day Race

Are you SRA’s next part-time administrative coordinator?

Swarthmore Recreation Association (SRA), a community-based, four-season recreation provider, is
seeking an administrative coordinator to support SRA programs and the Swarthmore Soccer Club’s
Travel Soccer Program. Key responsibilities include managing the online registration systems,
securing permits for fields and facilities, providing program registration information to players and
families, responding to inquiries, updating website content, light bookkeeping and assisting with other
program duties as required. The position will work closely with the executive director to provide
recreational opportunities for our community. We are looking for a highly organized, creative person
with great communication skills. The position will involve approximately 10-12 hours a week, year
round including some nights and weekends. College graduate preferred.
Please send cover letter and resume to SRA, P.O. Box 235, Swarthmore, PA 19081 by August 12

TBall Party!

With all the rain and snow and former president visits this year, we have the first of the two rescheduled TBall Sessions this Friday!

Friday, May 27

6:00 – 7:30 pm

SRS Baseball Field

SRA will be serving everyone Rita’s Water Ice!

The other rescheduled session will be Saturday, June 4th at 9:30 am at SRS – the usual time and place!


Henderson Field, Swarthmore, PA.