LAWTON, OK (TNN) - Futsal may be fairly new to southwest Oklahoma, but it is not a new sport globally. It was started back in the 1930s in a South American YMCA, and now, it has come full circle... to the Lawton Family YMCA.
“I picked it up about two years ago because I was coaching, and I’m like, I can’t coach them if I’ve never played,” said CJ Reeves, a coach, player, and the director of SWOK Futsal.
Reeves has since fallen in love with FUTSAL. He said the best part about it is the fast-pace.
“I’m not old. I’m not young. I’m kind of middle aged. And if I’m out there and I do stuff, it’s like going back to high school," said Reeves. "Then I’m like, wow! I didn’t know I could still do that, or, wow! My body says I can do that, but my head didn’t, or, you know, all kinds of different things.”
Mark Edward Brown is the CEO of SWOK Futsal, and is also vice president of the U.S.A. FUTSAL Federation. He said the game allows Lawton players to make it on a bigger stage.
“We have a pipeline for players to play from the local level, up to the state level, to the regional level, to the national level, and then to international sanctioned play in foreign countries,” said Brown.
A couple of the Lawton teams have already been overseas to play. Brown said futsal is a great skill set builder that can translate into better soccer playing.
“What a coach will see from the beginning of the futsal season, to the end of the futsal season, and then as it transitions into the traditional soccer season, their player becomes a more confident player, because they know absolutely, positively that they can handle that ball in a smaller space, which will allow them then to dictate how and where they want to play the ball on a bigger soccer field,” said Brown.
It three short years, the SWOK Futsal community has grown immensely, but Brown has even bigger goals.
“We started small, and we’re kind of growing. It’s also the same nationwide," said Brown. "We have a few other organizations throughout the U.S.A. and we’re slowly but surely expanding and growing, and hopefully, eventually one day we’ll be as popular as all the other big name sports that are out there right now.”
Some of their short term goals are to turn it from a two-season sport to a four-season sport, which will give players more exposure and give them opportunities to play the game on a larger scale.
If you are interested, the FUTSAL community invites you to come out and watch their games on Sundays. They play from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the big and small gyms at the Lawton Family YMCA.
For more information, you can visit their website at swokfutsal.com or by visiting their Facebook page.