Storm, Thunder, and Lightning all sound like weather advisory warnings. However, they are the names of the teams that represent the East Carver Heights neighborhood.
The soccer team started with Greg Herring talking to Columbus Parks and Recreation about his desire to start a soccer team in a declining socio-economic neighborhood. He received several recommendations. However, once he saw the Boxwood soccer field, there was no need to look any further. So, his next step was to find soccer players. Not being familiar with the neighborhood, he did not have a recruitment plan, so he showed up at the soccer field and started kicking the ball around, and of course, eventually, the kids showed up.
Soccer was new to the kids in the neighborhood, but Greg was blessed to have a team of volunteers willing to put in the hard work. The kids are grouped into three teams Lightning (U8), Thunder (U10), and Storm (U12). They are members of the Columbus Youth Soccer Association. Their hard work has paid off. In 2016, the U12 team won first place in their division.
The teams have definitely made a name for themselves in Columbus soccer. Soccer has opened doors for many of the players. Once they graduate U12, many of them are invited to play on other teams. While they were coaches in Atlanta, Coaches Greg and Lisa have had players play in high school, college, and even professionally.
Soccer has been a way to teach the players social skills, keep them on track academically, and dream about a real future.
The Boxwood Soccer Club is a true force of nature!