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Pahrump’s AYSO program celebrates 25th anniversary

Roughly five months after the Pahrump United-U10 soccer girls claimed a historic Western States Tournament title, Pahrump’s AYSO program is observing another milestone.

The national organization is preparing to celebrate its 25th anniversary in the Pahrump Valley.

Area Director Larry Berquist and his wife Ginny have been with the organization for more than two decades.

Ginny said efforts are now underway to acknowledge the achievement.

“We have ordered 25th anniversary pins this year and instead of giving out trophies, we are having a medal made with the 25th anniversary logo on it,” she said. “Larry and I have been here since 1994, which was actually their third season when we moved here. We have been involved with AYSO for 27 years.”

The actual anniversary date is Sept. 6 when the local organization was formed in 1991.

Berquist also wanted to point out the significance of the title Pahrump United won in late March, as the western states competition was broken down into four sections.

The team beat a San Francisco-area team in the first match and defeated a tough Downey, California team to become the AYSO’s Best in the West.

“That was the first time we had a team go to the tournament on Sunday morning to play,” she said. “It was the top two teams in each division from those four sections and the U-10 girls became the western states champions.”

As a result of the victory, Berquist said there is now renewed interest in Pahrump’s AYSO region 808 program, as registration for the upcoming season has since closed with a total of 430 players.

Teams are expected to receive their uniforms and other gear this weekend.

“The new soccer season starts on the 9th and 10th of September this year,” she said. “We have 43 teams in Pahrump. It goes from U-5, which is 4-year-olds, all the way up to 14-year-olds, which is our U-14, comprised of 12-and-13-year-olds.”

Berquist said parents can sign their kids up for next year’s season come early spring.

No physicals are required to participate in youth soccer.

“Next April and May is when we will start registration for next fall,” she said. “We do have a Facebook page, which is Pahrump AYSO 808. We have a website, which is currently being worked on. AYSO went into a partnership with Dick’s Sporting Goods and Blue Sombrero does their website. We all got free websites through Blue Sombrero and Dick’s Sporting Goods last year. Our new website will be AYSO 808.org, and next season all of the registration will go through the website.”

With such popularity among area families, Berquist said the need for coaches and volunteers is an ongoing effort for the program.

“If anyone is interested in volunteering, they can call me because I am the child and volunteer protective advocate,” she said. “We can always use the help of volunteers. In fact, that’s what we are doing this week. My husband is doing the referee classes because we are always short on referees.”

Berquist also noted that she recently received a copy of the original Pahrump AYSO paperwork from 25 years ago.

“It is dated 1991 and we are hoping to have a couple of the original signers here,” she said.

For additional information on Pahrump’s AYSO 808 program call Berquist at 775-513-1929.

AYSO stands for American Youth Soccer Organization based in Torrance, California. The non-profit organization was founded in 1964.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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