The Warwick Fire Fighters youth soccer club has established itself as the premier youth club in the state of Rhode Island.
For the third straight season, Warwick Fire Fighters was named the state’s largest youth soccer program out of 40 overall clubs in the state, fielding roughly 900 players stretching from the recreational level to the competitive level.
Warwick Fire Fighters President Doyle Byrd has headed the program for the last 14 years, and feels that providing the kids a great time on the field as well as providing the parents an affordable monetary rate has been key in keeping the program’s numbers consistently high over the past few years.
“I think we give the kids a good soccer experience at a low price. We’re non-profit, volunteer and we try to keep the price as low as possible. People at all economic levels can enjoy it,” said Byrd, who also puts an emphasis on customer service and outreach. “We also are very quick to respond to people and we’re very active on social media. People appreciate a timely response … that’s one thing that we try to do.”
Most of the Warwick Fire Fighters coaches are parents and locals that teach the sport simply for their love of the game. Although Warwick Fire Fighters experiences coaching turnover like all leagues, they do have a significant number of returning coaches which will help form familiarity with players.
“Typically, our coaches continue year to year. There’s always a handful of new coaches that come into the competitive program but for the rec program it’s not quite as continuous. However, we do have a significant amount of coaches that coach season to season. Some of our coaches have coached here for many years,” said Byrd.
Warwick Firefighters has also established a long line of success with players that continue to compete through the high school level, and some even hitting the collegiate ranks. Many of the local high school rosters are heavy with Warwick Fire Fighters alumni, and the program is proud to help kids grow as players and take that next step.
“When you look at the Toll Gate and Pilgrim teams a lot of them are from Warwick Fire Fighters. At Pilgrim and Toll Gate I recognize most of the kids. At Hendricken there are a handful of kids that are from the Fire Fighters team, especially at the JV and freshman level, a lot of the local high school kids have come from the Warwick Fire Fighters community,” said Byrd.
More than anything, Warwick Fire Fighters hopes to remain a big part of the local community this season and for the long term, and help kids enjoy the sport while also making a lasting impact on their every day lives.
“It’s very important. The aspect that I see as the most important is that these kids belong to a team, they feel that they are part of a group,” said Byrd. “It’s important for these kids to be teammates, be friends … we want them all to build lifelong friendships.”