By Matthew Lewis, Contributing Reporter
DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA – In April, AC Delray announced they had partnered with Rush Soccer, which started in Colorado but now is an international organization with 32,000 players involved in hundreds of clubs across the globe. Now, having just completed their Travel team tryouts last week, they are ready to kick off the new season.
With the new name AC Delray Rush, they continue to offer youth soccer, both recreational and competitive programs, to the Delray Beach area. They aim to create an environment that ‘encourages the participant’s sportsmanship, creativity, and enjoyment of sports’.
Nick Hindhaugh, Director of Travel Soccer for AC Delray Rush, explained that there will be sixteen Travel teams total with boys and girls, and different ages (named for their year of birth). In total there will be about 200-220 kids, playing 24-30 games per season from August to end of May.
“Tryouts went very well and our turnout was great despite all the challenges surrounding COVID-19,” Hindhaugh explained. “I think parents and players were just happy to be able to come out to the fields after being away for so long. We have a really good group of coaches who helped us with our field protocols and kept everything running smoothly.”
In terms of the players and skill level, Hindhaugh says, “we have some very talented players in all our teams so it is difficult to single out only a few [as standouts]. We have some very good teams who will be exciting to watch this season.”
Adding, “Our 2006 Girls team [age 14] will once again be competing against the best teams in the State this season. We also have very competitive teams at the Boys 2003 [age 17] , Boys 2004 [age 16] and Boys 2009 [age 11] age groups.”
The cost to participate in the Travel teams runs from $900-$1,200 for the season, plus tournament fees that may be $50-$200. Scholarships are available to players who qualify, based on income guidelines a demonstrated commitment to the competitive Travel program.
With the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, they offer payment plans so the season is in essence pro-rated in case there is a postponement or closure again. The club follows the Florida Youth Soccer and Delray Beach municipal guidelines.
The partnership with Rush Soccer was six months in the making, Hindhaugh explains. “We are still very early in the process and so far the support has been amazing from Rush. As we get into the new season we will be able to fully utilize the power of Rush to help our players.”
“Programs like Rush Select which offer our players a chance to compete in State, Regional and National levels of competition will be a great asset to their development,” he says.
“Also being able to enroll our older players in CAP (College Advisory Program) will help them gain some great knowledge and insight into the different aspects of college recruiting, scholarships, financial support, and the selection process.”
AC Delray Rush also provides 8 v 8 co-ed play for adults. The league is 18+ for women, and 30+ for men (with exceptions). Typically seasons run from early fall until late November, and from January to May, with games on Sunday evenings.
Home matches are played at AC Delray Seacrest Soccer Complex and Hilltopper Stadium located at 2505 Seacrest Blvd #344, Delray Beach. More information can be found at their web site as well as the field status hotline (561) 404-9944.