FRANKLIN CORNER: Soccer is growing, lets get started


Three weeks ago, I wrote a column for this space in which I decried the state of soccer facilities for the Clinton High School soccer team. I mentioned the shoddy field conditions and the fact that balls kicked out of bounds often had to be retrieved from the woods.

I had a nice color picture of a Chapman soccer player trying to get a ball from among the trees.

Remember reading that one?

Yep. Me, neither.

Brian had it on the page all ready to print when I found out the CHS administration had announced the soccer teams would start playing in Wilder Stadium. Effective the next day – the day before the paper would be delivered to your home (for only $35 per year in county). 

Brian muttered under his breath and scrambled to fix the page so I wouldn’t look like a complete idiot. I was pleased I have so much power that District 56 responds to requests before I even make them.

Of course I realize the decision to move home soccer games to Wilder Stadium had nothing to do with me thinking that was a good idea. The decision to move the games was made because it was, in fact, a good idea.

Soccer is growing in Clinton (thank you, NFL). We are sending our kids to college to play soccer and the players deserve more than a field in the woods.

In that column that you didn’t see, I admitted the reason I care about the state of soccer facilities at CHS is because I have a personal reason to. 

Everything was fine until…we went to Woodruff.

Woodruff High School hosted the Clinton boys varsity and junior varsity soccer teams last week. I rode to the game with my daughter and son-in-law (you figuring out my personal reason yet?). We kind of assumed the matches would be in Warner Stadium, but we were wrong. 

We spotted the team bus on the very back side of the WHS campus, where the Wolverines play in a first-class soccer facility that looks new.

Very nice elevated stands and a really great grass field. 

“That’s what we need in Clinton” has been my refrain since. 

I think all CHS sports should be on the CHS campus except football. There is space available on the campus for a soccer facility. 

I’ve had two people tell me the problem with the field near Springdale Drive is the possibility of balls being kicked into the road. I think the field is too far away from Springdale to worry about that, but, if the concern is legit, erect some nets like the ones at Lakeside Country Club that keep driving range balls from flying onto Hwy. 76.

Another concern, I’ve been told is having to move the scoreboard from the old field in the woods over to the high school. That one doesn’t fly. That’s a simple, cheap fix.

Faithful readers will remember my stated goal was to see the City of Clinton build a recreation complex before my grandsons were too old to use it. Then, the deadline became to see that happen before I retired. Then, before I die. 

Then, I gave up on that idea.

My new project goal is a soccer facility at CHS.

Let’s get moving.


(Larry Franklin is retired and lives in Clinton.)


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