With the guidance and encouragement of both WYSA (Wisconsin Youth Soccer Association) and MAYSA (Madison Area Youth Soccer Association) representatives, a meeting was held on June 27, 2018 to discuss the future of Columbus youth soccer programs and to address the growing concerns of misinformation and division being spread throughout the community. By mutual agreement and desire of all these parties, the meeting was called to clarify these issues, for the sake of all youth soccer participants in Columbus and to ensure a strong future and a growing demand for local soccer programs. The following people were in attendance: MAYSA Executive Director Chris Lay, WYSA Executive Director Melissa Zielinski (via teleconference), Mayor Michael Thom, City Administrator Patrick Vander Sanden, Columbus Recreation Director Amy Jo Meyers, Attorney Regan Hendrickson - representing CAYSO, Paul Genco - CAYSO Board President (via teleconference), Jason Schluter – CAYSO Treasurer, and Breanna Moorad -CAYSO District Representative.
Recently, the Columbus Recreation and CAYSO organizations received notification from MAYSA and WYSA that Columbus would be granted a club designation, which was granted to Columbus Recreation. Representatives from MAYSA and WYSA were present during the aforementioned meeting to help clarify their decision regarding the designation. MAYSA Executive Director Chris Lay advised that based on the size of our community, having one club designation would be an opportunity to have a stronger Columbus youth soccer program moving forward and that finding a way for both organizations to work under one umbrella would be a benefit to the youth as well as the entire community.
Due to the impending need to sign up players for the fall season, and in recognition that the organizations need adequate time to develop a plan that is well-designed and meets the needs of the Columbus youth soccer participants, the parties agreed that the discussions would start immediately but that CAYSO would be able to sign fall players up through the Poynette club, as they have been doing for the past several seasons under Whole Body Strong. Chris Lay expressed the importance of working together as soon as possible and wished for a resolution in time for the fall season if at all possible. Accordingly, all in attendance agreed to create a committee to begin discussions on July 4th to work together to identify the members to serve on the committee. The participants all agreed on this concept and discussed issues needing to be overcome in order for the organizations to unify and implement the concept for Spring soccer 2019, if not sooner.
After the meeting, all in attendance agreed that statement needed to be issued to show consensus of the discussion and to identify the next steps needed to ensure a strong future of soccer in Columbus. For questions, contact Amy Jo Meyers, Columbus Recreation at 920-623-5908 or Paul Genco, Columbus Area Youth Soccer Organization (CAYSO), 920-215-5082