Soccer: hobby #1!


At the bottom on the left is an alphabetical list of the pages in this web site, to help you navigate if you feel so inclined.

A guide to our family photo album covering 1994-2010, showing the principal themes, is here.

A year by year guide to our family time-line from 1994 through 2007 is here.

A photo journal beginning in 2008 is here.

The most recent pages of the album, copies of posts from my WordPress family blog,, are linked here:,,,



Since we arrived in Santa Cruz, soccer has been one of our favorite pastimes. It's what children here play the most during grade school, with baseball and basketball running a close second. We have no objection: Ian's father played football (as they call soccer in England) for Slough Grammar School, his school west of London, in 1940-3, and Ian has played in an informal way most of his life.

These first two pictures are of Charlie. In the first one, he was then the latest recruit to the sport, emulating Alban, our first soccer star. The photo was taken in front of the garage at home during the summer of 2000 before he actually played for a team. He was still just four years old, and look at the glee written all over his little face! (Sorry about the backdrop: small renovation in progress!)

For the second, below, we move on to the fall of 2005, and here he is playing for the local Under 10 Select boys team, the Breakers, and this is serious stuff. You can tell from the intense concentration, so well caught on film by Tony Pagliaro, a local professional photographer ( who we were lucky enough to have as one of the other team dads.

But look at Charlie's style, and look again at the back yard photo over five years before! It's the same! At least twelve seasons of youth soccer separate the two pictures (we have a hard time keeping track), but the same style and a maturing but still comparable enjoyment characterize both.

What do these two pictures have in common, apart from Charlie? Or should I say who do they have in common?  Paul Gooch is who. He was kicking the ball to Charlie just outside the top photo in front of our garage, and he later became his coach, first in the fall 2003 Santa Cruz Under 9s developmental league, and then in the Santa Cruz County Breakers Under 10s. In the picture on the right, he is on the sidelines during the fall 2005 Breakers' season watching over his young charges. Way to go, Paul!

In fact, all of us in the family would like to thank all of those who put so much effort into organizing and managing recreational and competitive soccer in Santa Cruz County, and especially Woody, Tricia, Rich, Marilyn, Nanette, Tom & Mary, Bob, Bryan, Hal, Drew, Nigel, Vicky & Nate, Frank, Melissa, Tony, Paul, Chuck and Boo, Sunil!  The list goes on.


Alban was our first soccer fanatic and star. Again, we have two photos here of him, again a few years apart.

On the left, here he is in Luxemburg Gardens in Paris when he had just turned 5.  Again, soccer was not a late-developing whim for this young man.

On the right, here he is red-faced after sixty minutes of hard running during his second US season in May 1998. He always kept running and running. It took a while for him to learn English, but he had won over his classmates, several of whom were his teammates, with the effort he put into his soccer.


Alban's coach during his first seasons at Happy Valley School was Santa Cruz Woody, seen at the bottom of this page in later years when he was coaching Alex.  Woody had a lot to do with Alban integrating so well into the kids' community here. Here is another picture of Woody.


Alex picked up soccer too, as soon as he could, and by the end of 2005 had completed six seasons himself! He loves the game as much as his brothers (see here).

On the left, here he is in action during the spring 2004 Excel season, the co-ed recreational youth league in Santa Cruz County. Again, we were lucky enough to have an enthusiastic photographer among the parents, and Katie Freeman ( took this photo. Thanks Katie!!

He moved on to the Under 9s developmental league in the fall of 2005, and his team photo is below and on the right.  They were called the White Sharks, and coached by Tony Sloss.  Thanks Tony!



Tom too has been applying himself to his soccer. He started out late relative to the other boys because of his earlier involvement in rugby while still in France and his initial explorations of American Football when he first arrived in the US (see this part of the family history). 



But he applied himself, and found a sympathetic coach who believed in him: thank you Sunil Bhojwani!

And in the winter 2005-6 season, he made the Harbor High School Junior Varisty team. Here is his picture for that team. What you can't see from the photo is that he has grown up and out in the last two years, and is now seriously big.


As time goes on, we move into different roles as well as different teams. Alban took a referee training course, and refereed the younger children's teams for a while, including Alex's a couple of time.



Here is Nick (in the middle of the back row) with the team that he was co-coaching during Spring 2003, the Happy Valley School Mustangs! 


Here is one of Alex on the hard indoor field in Scotts Valley, with his dad playing the role of goalie, with mixed results!



The fall 2003 soccer season, featuring what were then new levels of child involvement and parental commitment, appears on this page.

The Santa Cruz County Breakers Under 10s Fall 2005 Season, photographed by a professional, appears on this page.

And here is Alex's Spring 2006 Lightning team in the coed Santa Cruz Excel League (, coached by Santa Cruz Woody, the big bearded guy in the hat, whose songs of peace are sung at peace concerts all over Northern California, whose Branciforte Vineyards Pinot Noir is an excellent wine, and whose recreational youth soccer coaching skills are second to none. The team was undefeated, and Alex and his buddies had a really great time.




Listing of Pages in the Site

. . . with Alban
. . . with Daphne
. . . with Nicholas
. . . with Thomas
2008 Diary
2008 Special Days
2009 Daphne Alban
2009 Diary
2009 Sports
2009: Tom in IOW
2009: Tom Visits
Alban 1997-2007
Alban Petit 1989-96
Alban with friends
Alex & Charlie's Friends
Alex 1998-2002
Alex Arrives
Alexander 2002-07
Big kids with . .
Breakers '05
Charles & Alex 2
Charles & Alex 3
Charles 1995-9
Charles 2000-07
Charlie's Here
Childrens' parties
Courtney & Antony's Wedding
Daphné 1997-2007
Daphné Petite 87-97
Death Valley
Diary to 2007
Dirty babies
Disney Decor
Disney Residents
Disney Rides
Disneyland 2011
Down the Coast
Faby & Jean
Family Groups
Fooling around
Graduations 2007
Graduations I
Happy Valley
Her Family
Her Friends
His Family 1
His Family 2
Historical Themes
Ian in England
Ian's 50th Birthday
Ian's friends
Ian's Work
Journal from 2008
La Bellanderie
La Grée
La Radinerie des Berhauts
Laura & Damian
Law School Reunion
Le Tahu
Little little guys
Maman Fille
Man Utd v. Barca
Missing You
Mountain Biking
Moving House
Moving Out
New York
Nick 1999-2007
Nick younger
Our Cars
Our Cats
Our Homes
Our House!
Pacific Grove
Papa Ian
Peace Train
Photo Albums
Pools I (1998-2001)
Pools II (2004)
Portraits 2008
Risky Flight
Road Trip!
Santa Cruz
Soccer in 2003
Soccer in 2008
Soccer: hobby #1!
Special Days
St. Malo
Surfing USA
Tahoe Weekend
Thanksgiving 2005
The Hanlons
Thorpe Park
To Santa Cruz
Tom 2000-07
Tom in Paris in 2008
Tom younger
West Cliff
Xmas 1994 -2001
Xmas 2002-2007
Zinzins in California!