College Station welcomes rain-soaked soccer evacuees

By J.D. Wood, Tourism Manager

Copyright: 123RF Stock PhotoWe’ve all seen images of the gut-wrenching devastation from the recent flooding across Texas, especially in the Sam Marcos and Wimberley areas. Many people lost their homes or worse, which makes disrupted sports events little more than trivial footnotes.

Still, when hundreds of kids have dedicated months of their lives to reach their championship tournament, you want to help.

Last week, the South Texas Youth Soccer Association (STYSA) was hosting its 52-team state finals at 5-Mile Dam Park along the Blanco River in San Marcos. Only a few games were completed before the rain started, and the river began to rise. It became apparent that the tournament couldn’t continue — at least not there.

STYSA began seeking an alternate site to finish the event no later than June 7. When it reached out to the College Station Parks & Recreation Department about moving the tournament here, we had to move fast.

While Veterans Park and Athletic Complex is large enough to host the event, the recent downpours left the condition of many of the grass fields in doubt. Veterans Park has two synthetic fields, but those wouldn’t be enough if additional rains came this week.

Without hesitation, the College Station Independent School District and Texas A&M Rec Sports offered their artificial turf fields if the grass fields at Veterans become unplayable. That means we’ll welcome more than 1,800 appreciative soccer players, coaches, officials and fans to town this weekend.

Thank you to CSISD and A&M, along with the faithful support from the Bryan-College Station Convention and Visitors Bureau and Brazos Valley Youth Soccer Association, for once again proving we are truly one community.

About J.D.: J.D. Wood has been the City of College Station’s tourism manager since 2014 after serving as lead athletic supervisor for a year. He has extensive experience in sports and tourism, including stints with the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau and Texas A&M Athletics. A native of Onalaska, J.D. earned both his bachelor’s (2009) and master’s (2010) degrees in sports management from Texas A&M.

Photo Credit: 123RF Stock Photo

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