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.”

Foxes Foil Foes at PreSeason Tournament


The 2022 Fall Season is off to a flying start for the 2013 Boys Foxes as they went undefeated in the Central League Soccer Festival group stage.  The team’s aggressive, pressing style led by Andy Bubb and Prasad Soni up top often overwhelmed opponents, producing numerous chances which were finished off by center midfielders Joel Larson (who scored two goals) and Sawyer Hogarth.  Wing backs Joey DiBona, Jonah Peltzman, and Penn Hoy played high up the field, offering consistent service to our attacking players while effectively bottling up the opponent’s counter attacks.  When our opponents did manage to break through, sweepers Tariq Yue and Mac Willsie, supported by our rotating stable of goalies – Simon Prinbeck, Luca Frattaroli, and Josh Henderson – consistently snuffed out the danger. “While the results were certainly welcome,” says Coach Steve DiBona, “we were most proud of the sportsmanship, effort, and grit displayed by the boys in very hot conditions.  This was a great way to start off the season.”

2014 boys enjoy orange slices in between games. Megan Slootmaker

Also on the field this weekend, the 2014 Boys Foxes played three games in the CLS Tournament.    “Our boys played hard in their first official matches,” says Coach Megan Slootmaker.  “They had no subs for three games, and they got better each game.”

The regular season for the Swarthmore Soccer Club Foxes begins Saturday, September 10th.  Home games are played at Henderson Field, Rutgers Main Field, and Rutgers Side Field.  Town Soccer, Petite Soccer, and Intramural Soccer also rev up shortly after Labor Day.  Go Foxes!

Sandlot Soccer: Free Soccer for All


Sandlot Soccer, a new program hosted by the Swarthmore Recreation Association, brought together kids young and old for small-sided games all summer long — for free!

Sandlot Soccer ran all summer long on Thursday evenings at Henderson Field.  It allowed players of all levels and abilities to join together for sheer love of the game.

photo by Keira Rydel

Chris Wilson, who also coaches with Swarthmore Soccer Club, the travel soccer program at SRA, founded the program this year. “I started this program because I love soccer ,” Coach Wilson said.  “I think it’s a great way for kids to get out and have fun and exercise and make friends,” he said. 

On the field on August 11, players were getting lots of exercise and having tons of fun.  Coach Wilson organized players into teams by age, size, and experience level.  Without any subs, all the kids got lots of playing time, and the games were very close. Occasionally,  Coach Wilson blew his whistle and told the players to freeze. He offered pointers to players on how to improve their game before whistling again to start play.

The program received high marks from the players.  Asked how she would rate her enjoyment of the program, Olivia M. gave it an enthusiastic “10!” 

Sandlot Soccer served as a great way for players to keep skills up to snuff in the off season.  Fall brings Petite Soccer (for the youngest players), Town Soccer (with Coach Billy), Intramural Soccer (for those headed to travel in 2023), and Swarthmore Soccer Club (travel soccer).  Sandlot Soccer bridges the gap, keeps players fit, and draws players who might otherwise not try the game.

photo by Keira Rydel

Coach Wilson hopes to bring the program back again next summer and maybe more often. “I don’t know if it’s just going to be a summer program or if there’s ways that we can make it available at other times in the year,” he said, adding that he would “ love to keep it going”. Emma W. agrees. Asked if she thought the program should continue next year, she responded with an enthusiastic “Yeah!” 

Sandlot Soccer is part of SRA’s fledgling Know Your Neighbor program, a series that offers free community-building events and programs to encourage kids and adults to get out and play.  So far, Know Your Neighbor includes a bike safety course, community bike rides, hiking trips, the Summertime Romp, and Sandlot Soccer. The programs primarily take place in the summer, when field space is less cramped, but SRA is always open to new ideas.  Know Your Neighbor resides at the heart of SRA’s mission, bringing people together for healthy fun. 

New Summer Camps, Lots More Fun


Swarthmore Recreation Association (SRA), launched two new, highly-anticipated camps at the start of August, one for budding basketball stars and the other for ultimate frisbee players.

More Moore Fun Basketball Camp, directed by Swarthmorean Durell Moore, focused primarily on building the campers’ skills and camaraderie. The campers spent most of their time on the basketball courts of Swarthmore Rutledge School under the direction of Mr. Moore.  “Camp is really good,” Mr. Moore said, still out of breath from running with the campers. Everett Miller, a camper on a water break, agreed completely.  “Camp’s pretty fun,” he said before rushing back onto the court. Campers Riley and Kabir were equally rushed in their responses, both affirming that camp was “good” before darting back to the action, all smiles and exhaustion.  The August camp was the second of two basketball camps run this summer by Mr. Moore in conjunction with SRA.  The camps, run by his coaches at More Moore FUNdamentals, were one more way that Mr. Moore, who is also an assistant varsity coach at Chester High School, has been working to improve the quality of basketball in Swarthmore and to improve Nether-Swarthmore Hoops, one of SRA’s marquee programs.  Mr. Moore also plans to host small group training sessions this fall for interested ball players.

On the other side of Swarthmore, on Rutgers Field, another new camp was underway, this one run by the Philadelphia Phoenix Ultimate team, a professional team based in Philadelphia and a member of the East Division of the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL).  Phoenix players Morey Averill called the camp “a blast for all ages. Everyone has fun!”  The camp, the second of its kind this summer, consisted of skills training for players of all ability levels and plenty of chances to chat with friends and Phoenix players as well.   Camper Marco Flower said the camp “helped me become a better ultimate frisbee player.” Desmond Fuccillo, who is new to the sport, said “It’s amazing. I’ve learned lots of different kinds of throws and techniques.” Jacob Sacker said that the camp is “a fun way to learn,” and Nathan Sacker explained the camp’s main technique for teaching as “each game helps you with one thing.” Plus, there’s nothing quite like learning from a professional player.  At the end of the day, campers gathered around the Phoenix players to gather signatures on their camp shirts.  The Phoenix will be back in Swarthmore this fall for Advanced Ultimate Frisbee Clinics for middle and high school players.

Summer Camp for the win


Swarthmore Recreation Summer Camp was a blast again this year. From preschoolers to rising 7th graders, everyone — including the counselors — had a great time. 

From 8:30 am to 1:45 PM, campers had countless toys and a variety of activities to choose from. They made necklaces using colorful beads on fine strings, built long chains of pipe cleaners, and played traditional card games such as “Blackjack” and “President.” 

The fun wasn’t reserved just for the classroom. Campers spent a large part of each day enjoying Swarthmore Rutledge School’s massive playground and its expansive green fields. They climbed around on the play sets, were pushed by counselors on the tire swing, and simply ran around after their buddies. Gaga ball, a variation on the classic dodgeball, was by far the most popular game on the playground. 

No two days were ever the same. Each day, campers participated in a unique activity, such as making fresh ice cream with their counselors, splashing around on inflatable waterslides, or watching a live puppet show. Campers made works of art on Sand Art Day, drew innumerable pictures, sculpted with Playdoh, and feasted on popcorn on Popcorn Day.  On the last day they were treated to water ice straight from the ice cream truck, which came by especially for them!

For the first time this year, SRA camp ran into the afternoon, a move that allowed both more campers and more counselors to participate in this Swarthmore tradition.  At the end of afternoon camp, a group of campers walked over to Swarthmore Swim Club for practice and more fun.

Michael Hansen, an enthusiastic gap-toothed 6-year-old, gives camp rave reviews.  “Camp is fun!” Michael says.  “I really enjoyed playing Blackjack with my friends and chasing around in the Gaga ball pit.” Campmate Nat Brody, a card game lover who had a lot of fun clambering all over the counselors’ backs, added that he “loved the waterslide because I got shoved down it by Noah!” 

The children were not the only ones having fun.  Counselors loves camp, too. Counselor Niko Christodouleas, who worked with the pre-K class, said he “really liked to see these kids develop,” adding that he is thrilled finally to be a counselor at the camp where he was a camper for many years. Jenna Beucler, a three-year veteran at SRA Camp and who headed the kindergarten class this year, got a kick out of the kids’ boundless energy for fun and creativity. 

Camp concluded this week, but it will be back again next year.  Registration will open in late January or early February.  In the meantime, Swarthmore Soccer Club, Intramural, Town, and Petite Soccer, and Nether-Swarthmore Field Hockey are all gearing up for the fall season which starts in a few short weeks.  Plus, join SRA at the Rotary Club Fun Fair on September 18th in Town Center, where campers and counselors can reconnect and relive their summer hijinks.

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