Saturday, November 10
Elks Soccer History

The Granite City Elks Youth Athletics soccer program was born in 1982 when Elks member Jim McKechan requested $127.00 from the Elks to form the first boy’s team. The money was used to buy uniforms.

"The program is entering its 26th year and has now grown to sponsor 16 Club teams and 42 Recreational teams with a budget of over $50,000.00 to run the program annually.

We are proud of the fact that this program still runs on a voluntary basis with none of the coaches or board members receiving any money for their efforts.

After all these years, the cost for a child to participate in this program is only $325.00 a year for Club and $50 per year for the new Elks Recreational Program.

Mr. McKechan eventually became chairman of the committee and remained on the Youth Athletics Board until 1999. He still holds an advisory position to the board.

The Elks original soccer team marked the beginning of what has been, and still is, an impressive tradition.

To insure continued success of the program, many fundraisers were held in an effort to finance the growing sports program.

The bulk of the Elks Athletic budget is derived from the Elks/Pepsi Fall Classic Soccer Tournament. The Girls & Boys tournament is held every August.

The tournament began in 1986 and was played over a span of one weekend. Forty-two teams (both boy's and girls) were involved. The tournament is entering its 22nd year and has grown to now hosting over two hundred teams at 2 locations.

The proud tradition is still going strong after all these years. The success of the program is credited to the many volunteers from the Elks Lodge and parents of the players. Without their help and dedication this program would not be possible.

From the original one boys soccer team, the Elks organization now sponsors sixteen (16) boys and girls select soccer teams as well as six Khoury League baseball teams and with the addition of the recreational program in 2007 another 42 boys and girls teams.

If you would like more information about our programs please take a moment to browse our site or call (618) 451-7124.   

Kenny Prazma
Chairman Elks Youth Athletics