The Arlington Youth Soccer League was founded in 1975 by AMHS Coach John Werner, and was made up of 45 boys in that first season. It was one of the very first youth soccer programs in the state of Vermont.
The three objectives listed at the beginning were as follows:
- To provide a productive and worthwhile activity for our youth.
- To teach youngsters the rules and skills of the game of soccer.
- To provide healthy competition while de-emphasizing winning at all costs
As girls in town transitioned from field hockey to soccer, the program was expanded to include them, and the program encompassed boys and girls in grades K - 6.
In 1980, Coach Werner was instrumental in forming the Southwest Vermont League for teams made up of players in grades 4, 5 and 6. Eventually this league involved teams from nine towns. The first Arlington team was a sixth grade boys’ team which was named the Red Dragons after Coach’s Oneonta State college team, and thus the program color became red. Around 1980, Coach also formed the Arlington Soccer Club for boys in grades 7 through 12 as well as an adult summer team. This program included the under 14 Lions, a summer small sided league and the adult team the Gunners.
Coach Werner, with great help from his wife Judy, ran the youth program for 30 seasons from 1975 until 2004. John Macksey took over for the next eight seasons, 2005-2012 and then Rose and Kevin Caggiano ran the youth program from 2013 until 2015.
Meanwhile, the Soccer Club which had mostly ended when Coach Werner moved on to coach at Castleton University was reformed by parents of the high school boys in 2013.
For 2016, all programs will come under the direction of the Arlington Soccer Club. The fall program for children in grades K-6 will continue to move forward, the under 17 boys’ team will be continued, and other teams will be added as interest is shown by players and parents.
The success of the Club will depend on not only an active and committed Board of Directors but also on the positive involvement of the parents and players. It is an exciting time for the Arlington Soccer Club!
Vermont Country Store
Richard Barbierri, DDS
Bank of Bennington
Mack Molding Company
John Werner Soccer Camps LLC