Cleats clashed on the soccer pitch Saturday afternoon. Father faced daughter. Daughter won.
What a difference a decade makes.
It was just over 10 years ago that islander Morgan Quarry and a few of his friends met at Doc Morgan’s one wet winter’s evening and came up with the idea of a sport society. They all had young children and wanted a way to keep them active.
“It was sort of to try to save ourselves from having to go off Island all the time,” laughs Morgan. “So there was definitely some self-interest in there.”
After a couple of years of work, Bowen Island Football Club was granted BC Soccer club status in 2009.
From those early days of league soccer, with a handful of players, the club has grown to approximately 120 youth players and between 65 and 95 adult co-ed players. The club plays two seasons a year and Morgan says that the club is offering summer programming for the first time this year.
It hasn’t been entirely smooth sailing. BIFC was put to the test early on in the artificial turf field controversy of 2009. The community was divided over artificial turf vs. grass, the cost of the project and the need to cut down trees for the field.
But the turf field proceeded and the subsequent generation of soccer players has honed their game on the pitch.
That generation includes several youth who went from BIFC to the Metro league in Vancouver and it boasts at least one Bowen superstar. Molly Quarry, 17, Morgan’s daughter, who played six seasons with BIFC as a youngster, worked her way up to the Vancouver Whitecaps elite program for the youth national soccer team and has won a University of Nebraska soccer scholarship.
“I think one of the greatest things about the club is when they graduate from BICS and go off to high school, that they're continuing to play soccer,” says Morgan. He notes that part of the goal of the club was to encourage sport in people’s lives into adulthood.
In the blazing Vancouver sun last weekend, BIFC celebrated their 10 years of existence with a party, Soccerfest. The young ones did drills and soccer games on the grass field while the turf field hosted exhibition games. The last game of the day pitted the founding parents of BIFC (and some other men) against the founding youth, their children, including Morgan (who has a soccer background himself) vs. Molly (the soccer star).
And the children won in the end.