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A Brief History of GCCSA

Soccer-what a great sport! The sun on your face; the breeze on your back; the smell of freshly mowed grass; noise from the stands: action on the field: coaches at the sideline; camaraderie for the parents; exercise for the kids--it is great fun for all. Prior to 1985, however, soccer in Cleveland County was limited to pick-up games in the backyard or at the park. Baseball, basketball and football were all part of the sports scene but soccer was missing. A group of adults from all parts of Cleveland County noticed this void and decided to act. In the fall of 1985, a recreation soccer team was formed and the Greater Cleveland County Soccer Association (GCCSA) was born.  Tom and Sybil McAuthur, acting as co-presidents, worked with the city park, and the first recreation season was played at Shelby City Park in the fall of 1985. By the spring of 1986, fields started to be developed at Graham School, Ingles 226, James Love School, Landmark Church on 74, Dover School, and Optimist Park.
 
A board of directors was developed in ‘86/’87 and the GCCSA joined the NCYSA (North Carolina Youth Soccer Association) in the latter part of that season. The first solo president, Dave Bower, took office in ‘86/’87. In ‘87/’88, Jim Underwood was president and initiated the “Gold Cup”, a skills competition for all recreational players. In ‘93/’94, under Marc Tuttle’s tutelage, several all-girls teams played alongside the mixed teams that had been playing for years. In ‘95/’96, Rod Rockwell presided over GCCSA and also co-coached with Bill Noblitt the first classic team in our league (challenge was not a division at this time). In ‘96/’97 under Roger Holland, the “Gold Cup” was renamed the “Underwood Cup” to memorialize Jim Underwood, a past president and tireless volunteer and supporter of the association. In ‘99/’00, Mary Claus was president and over 1020 children in the area were involved in recreational soccer while another 80 played on one of four classic teams. A crowning point for our association came in ‘04/’05 and ‘05/’06 while Eddie Winecoff and Sam Goforth were association presidents. GCCSA was awarded the “2005 Recreation Soccer Association of the Year.” Presently the league has teams that play at the recreation level, the academy level, the challenge level, and the classic level. It remains a league which still provides good, clean fun to youth in our county and beyond.
 
For the first twelve years GCCSA was a recreational soccer league, able to sustain itself through the generosity of many sponsors. Each team had a business or private sponsor that helped cover uniform, equipment, and referee fees for the team. The association itself was approached during the ‘95/’96 season by Chris White, the president of Gardner-Webb University (GWU). Thanks to the generosity of the university, the GCCSA began to use the fields at GWU that same year. The teams today continue to be supported by bighearted, kind folks throughout the community, and the association still calls Gardner-Webb University home.  
 
The GCCSA also hosted one of the biggest tournaments in the state from 1994 through 2007. This tournament, the NCYSA/GCCSA Recreation State Cup, played games at GWU and throughout the county. Shelby Savings Bank was a generous donor for all of these tournaments and Cleveland County was seen by a vast amount of people.  

Volunteers make the GCCSA an enriching experience for the youth of our community. They are 
too numerous to name, but all are instrumental in making the league into a vibrant organization be they coach, operations manager, executive director, or president. Ed Yarboro, past president, received the “Kellogg Award” in ‘01/’02 for national volunteers. Eddie Winecoff, a founding member of GCCSA and past president, and Marc Tuttle, also a past president of GCCSA, received the “Tom and Linda Moiser Award” in 2003 for the North Carolina volunteer of the year. Throughout the years, the GCCSA has had many such volunteers ready and willing to do what is best for our kids.
 
The kids have always been the focus of GCCSA--teaching all ages the fundamentals of soccer while allowing them to have fun. Along with having fun, many past players have gone onto productive high school and college careers. These include but are not limited to Wes Shull (UNC), Jenny Claus (Tennessee), David LeGrand (Appalachian), Jil Currie (UNCC), Jessica Stallings (UNCW), Megan Reynolds (GWU), Savannah Ward (Western Carolina), Brittney Horne (Emery and Henry College), Ramey Kerns (East Tennessee State University), Danielle Birch (Brevard), and Turner Almond (Wofford). A past coach was heard to reminisce “I enjoyed the game but I enjoyed the kids more.” Perhaps Rod Rockwell, former coach and GCCSA president says it best. 
 
“Looking back, the best part is the involvement with the kids. You enjoy seeing how they have progressed over the years, and you enjoy watching where they go.”

Past Presidents

Year President Name
1985 Sybil McAuthur
1985-1986 Sybil and Tom McAuthur
1986-1987 Dave Bower
1987-1988 Jim Underwood
1988-1989 Rick Crotts
1989-1990 Rick Crotts
1990-1991 Eddie Winecoff
1991-1992 Eddie Winecoff
1992-1993 Doug Huitt
1993-1994 Marc Tuttle
1994-1995 Ken Simpson
1995-1996 Rod Rockwell
1996-1997 Roger Holland
1997-1998 Bill Young
1998-1999 Ed Yarboro
1999-2000 Mary Clauss
2000-2001 Larry Wilson
2001-2002 Tommy Tedder
2002-2003 Terry Edwards
2003-2004 Jim Robinson
2004-2005 Eddie Winecoff
2005-2006 Sam Goforth
2006-2007 Clint Shuford
2007-2008 Clint Shuford
2008-2009 Shana Runge
2009-2010 Shana Runge
2010-2011 Aron Goss
2011-2012 George Skeith
2012-2013 George Skeith
2013-2014 David Walker
2014-2015 Toby Alexander
2015-2016 George Skeith
2016-2017George Skeith
2017-2018George Skeith
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