Participants enjoy lunch with Pioneer Pete and the men's soccer team.
HAYWARD, Calif. — On Sunday, May 5, the Pioneer men's soccer team hosted more than 70 youth players for a free clinic at Pioneer Stadium prior to their spring game against UC Davis. The entire CSUEB squad participated in the event, along with several members of the women's team, to provide an unforgettable afternoon for the kids, ages 4-12, who represented nine surrounding cities.
The day started with head coach Andy Cumbo handing out free Pioneer Soccer t-shirts to each participant. The kids also received a BPA-free Cal State East Bay water bottle before splitting up into stations for an hour of instruction from the players and coaches. After that, lunch was provided for all, and CSUEB mascot Pioneer Pete showed up for group photos in the stadium stands. The young players then had a chance to get autographs and take pictures with the players.
“The day was extremely successful both for our athletes and the aspiring youth soccer players,” said CSUEB market coordinator Tenaya Davis, who organized the event. “The East Bay players did a phenomenal job interacting with the youth and creating a welcoming, friendly environment. I think the clinic created a friendly bond between our players and the participants, making it even more special for them to cheer on the team against UC Davis.”
Many of the kids and their families stuck around for the 4 p.m. game, and they were treated to an impressive performance by the Pioneer men. East Bay played to a 1-1 tie against the Division I Aggies, exhibiting a staunch defense that gives the Pioneers reason for optimism heading into next fall.
“The abundance of smiles, laughter, and joy from the kids in attendance was the true sign of a successful event,” added Davis. “It's exciting to have youth and their families come to our campus, work with our teams, become a part of the CSUEB family, and leave with a positive experience!”
That sentiment was shared by the participants, as well. “My kids had a blast,” commented one parent who spent the afternoon at the clinic. “Getting the men to sign their jerseys was the highlight of the day, along with playing with them on the field. This is an inspiration for our middle-schoolers to see what they can achieve – that with hard work and good grades, they can play soccer in college. The Pioneer players are like rock stars to them, and my daughter even told me they are better than Justin Beiber!”
This men's soccer event concludes a year-long community engagement effort by Pioneer Athletics that included “Youth Days at the Bay” with several of the CSUEB teams. Below are some photos from Sunday's festivities.