The Midfielder
Heartland Soccer Association Newsletter
Heartland Soccer Association
9161 W 133rd Street, Overland Park, KS 66213
Phone: 913.888.8768

Heartland Soccer Association is recognized as one
of the largest soccer leagues and tournament hosts in the country. We offer recreational to premier divisions, ages U8 through U19.
Heartland Spring 2017 League registration is now open.
Registration closes January 9th.
No late registrations will be accepted.

2016 Heartland Numbers

league teams this fall
league teams last spring
league players in 2015
tournament teams this year
tournament players this year


From the Heartland League Director, Richard Davies  
Dear All,
The end of the Fall season is upon us, and wow that went by really quick!!
We at Heartland want to thank all of you for supporting our organization by playing in our league and tournaments.
The fall 2016 season went fantastically well. We had a relatively low number of parent/coach issues which is great but we obviously want that number to be zero.
Most of the divisions were extremely competitive which is very welcomed, as there were some concerns going into the first seeding process after the new US Soccer mandates had been introduced.
We did have some concerns about the size of the 7v7 fields and US soccer has recently increased the size allowances, so those fields will increase in size for the Spring 2017 season. Rather than having 4 x 7v7 fields on one 11v11 field there will now only be 2 x 7v7 fields. Similar to the set-up of our 9v9 fields.
We are hopeful for a moderate winter here in Kansas City, as that will allow for some resurfacing of existing turf fields and hopefully the building of multiple turf fields in the metro, which we would look to use for the Spring 2017 season and beyond.
Please enjoy your time away from the fields with your families over the following months and holidays. We sincerely hope to see you all again in the Spring.
Heartland Staff.
Tournament Numbers
(number of teams)

Border Battle
KC Champions Cup 410
Mother's Day Classic 407
KC Invitational
Fall Kick Off Challenge
Sporting KC Affiliate Friendlies
Heartland Midwest Classic
Midwest All Girls
Girls HIT
Boys HIT
NCAA Men's College Showcase

In the last 12 months Heartland welcomed teams from a total of 17 states and Canada.
This Month in History: November

Read about "the shot that started it all" in November 1989

More history:
November 6, 1869- The first intercollegiate soccer game took place (Rutgers 6, Princeton 4).
November 2, 1929- Forward Matt Busby made his professional debut for Manchester City.
November 8, 2007- Ruud Gullit took over as head coach of the LA Galaxy, becoming the highest-paid manager in MLS history.

Photo of the Month: Drew Welch
"crazy legs"

2016 Heartland Soccer Awards Night


Kansas City Comets players, Brian Harris and Guerrero Pino, awarded medals to several Heartland Soccer Association's 2016 fall division winners before the Comets home season opener on Friday night, Oct 28th.  
Division 1, Unified FC Bayern Munich, is one of the many teams who posed for a celebratory picture after being recognized for winning their division concluding the fall, 2016 soccer season.  The first of four Heartland Award Ceremonies was held prior to Friday night's Kansas City Comets season home opener.
Concussion ImPACT  Testing

Open to all Heartland Soccer participants
for more information contact :
Betsy Kellerman
(913) 541-3365

Overland Park Regional Medical Center
Get certified to be a referee!
  Sign up to be a referee for
Spring 2017 Heartland  league.
Health Tip from HCA
Energy Drinks and Food Bars: Power or Hype?
The Buzz on Energy Foods
Energy drinks and nutrition bars often make big promises. Some say they'll increase energy and alertness, others offer extra nutrition, and some even claim to boost your athletic performance or powers of concentration.
But once you cut through the hype and look past the flashy packaging on energy products, chances are what you're mostly getting is a stiff dose of sugar and caffeine.
Make Smart Choices
With so much going on in our lives, lots of people feel tired and run down. And many of us find ourselves skipping a meal sometimes. So it's not surprising that nutrition, protein, and energy drinks and food bars have flooded the market, offering the convenience of energy on the go.
Sometimes, this can be good news - like for the person who doesn't have time for breakfast. Food bars will never beat a well-balanced meal or snack when it comes to meeting our nutrition needs. But many of them do contain more nutrients than a candy bar or a bag of chips. But just because a product contains vitamins and minerals does not automatically mean it is good for you.
Know the Downsides
Here are some facts to keep in mind when it comes to food bars or energy drinks:
They contain excessive sugar and calories. Did you know that some energy bars and drinks contain hundreds of calories? That may be OK for athletes who burn lots of calories in high-intensity activities, like competitive cycling. But for many teens the extra sugar and calories just contribute to weight gain, not to mention tooth decay.
Energy drinks are often full of caffeine. Caffeine may be legal, but it is a stimulant drug. It can cause side effects like jitteriness, upset stomach, headaches, and sleep problems - all of which drag you down, not power you up! Large amounts of caffeine can have even more serious side effects (including fast or irregular heartbeats, high blood pressure, hallucinations, and seizures), especially for people who have certain medical conditions or who take medications or supplements. Energy drinks are not the same as sports drinks. They should not be used to rehydrate because they contain so much caffeine.
Food bars don't make good meal replacements. You never really see someone eat an energy bar for dinner and then sit back with a satisfied grin. Nothing beats a real meal for both that well-fed feeling and the nutritional satisfaction your body needs.
Although many nutrition bars have vitamins and minerals added, they can't give you all the different nutrients your body needs to grow, develop, play sports, and handle all the other stuff on your schedule. The only way to get that is through eating a balanced diet and not skipping meals.
They may contain mysterious ingredients. In addition to caffeine and sugar, some brands of energy drinks and food bars can have ingredients whose safety and effectiveness haven't been tested - things like guarana (a source of caffeine) and taurine (an amino acid thought to enhance caffeine's effect). Some contain herbal supplements that are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), such as ginseng.
These kinds of ingredients may cause problems, especially for people who are taking certain medications or have a health condition. So play it safe. Always check the label carefully before you eat or drink any kind of energy supplement.
They're expensive. Though energy bars and drinks are everywhere these days, they don't come cheap. At about $3 a pop, you can get a better (and cheaper) energy boost by eating a whole-wheat bagel with cream cheese. And you can get better hydration by drinking 8 ounces of tap water. Other on-the-go foods that provide plenty of nutritional bang for the buck include trail mix, fresh or dried fruits, and whole-grain cereals.
Cutting Through the Hype
There's some clever marketing behind energy bars and drinks, and you've got to be a pretty savvy consumer to see through it. So be critical when reading labels. As with everything, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
These products aren't the healthy choices the advertising hype makes them out to be. According to experts, kids and teens should not drink energy drinks because of concerns about their safety and their effect on health. The truth is, the best energy boost comes from healthy living. People who eat well, drink water, and get enough physical activity and sleep will have plenty of energy - the natural way.

Coaching Requirements
Heartland Soccer League is sanctioned by Kansas Youth Soccer. There is a minimum coaching requirement. All recreational and premier coaches must complete the F license course. It is online and can be found at the following link. 
National C License Course  
KSYSA is hosting a USSF National C license in Ottawa KS and then testing in KC at Swope Soccer Village,  Nov 18-20.
Congratulations to this year's U15-U18 Girls State Cup and President's Cup Champions!



Competitive Girls Coach of the Year - Kat Benton
Competitive Boys Coach of the Year - Keith Sale
Young Female Referee of the Year - Emily Astle
Young Male Referee of the Year - Braxton Pauls
Volunteer of the Year - Kristie Cleaver
Administrator of the Year - Pam Gnoza
Save of the Year - Tori Spurgeon (Rush Soccer Club) CLICK HERE  FOR VIDEO
Goal of the Year - Tim Williams (Metro United

We sincerely thank all our winners and nominees for all that they contribute to Kansas Youth Soccer.

In addition, we have submitted each winning nomination to Region II and should an individual be selected as the Regional award winner, they will represent our region at the US Youth Soccer Awards Gala in conjunction with the US Youth Soccer Workshops.   

Individuals chosen at the   Awards   Gala become National Level winners in their respective category.

Heartland Soccer Association
  Referee Meeting
  Referees of all ages and experience levels are encouraged to attend Heartland's Referee meetings. We have one meeting left for 2016, Dec.12th . Our December meeting will be an end of the year party to learn tips and tricks for ARs and Referees, play fun games and win fabulous prizes!
  Parents are always welcome.
Monday, December 12th (end of year party)
Mentors  will meet 6pm-7pm
Monthly Referee Meeting from 7pm-8:30pm
 Meeting will be held at the "Steve D. Scheels" Training Center in the northwest corner of the second floor of the Scheels store located at 6503 West 135th St, Overland Park, KS 66223  

A Huge Thank you to Scheels
for all their support in 2016!
If you have a referee, coach, club, team or player accomplishment that you would like to share please email Katie at
101 Ladies Accessories
3 Women and an Oven
7 Eleven
AAA Insurance
Academy Sports and Outdoors
Arvest Bank
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing
Buca di Beppo
Burger Fi
California Pizza Kitchen
Chartroose Caboose
Chick fil A
Corner Bakery Cafe
Damsel in Defense
Dick's Sporting Goods
Drs. Hawks, Besler, Rogers & Stoppel
Dunkin' Doughnuts
Edible Promotions
Farmer's Insurance
FC Kansas City
Gift Gallery
Global Connections
Gordon Biersch
Hague Quality Water
Harlan C Parker State Farm Hasty Awards
Hayward's Pit BBQ
Heart of America Golf Academy
Huntington Learning Center
J&K Soccer
Jimmy John's
Johnny Cascone's
Jon Russell's Barbeque
Kansas Athletics
KC Running Store
Kincaid Coach Lines
Legoland/Sea Life
Lenny's Subs
Levine Advertising
Mary Kay
McCarthy Auto Group
Menorah Medical Center
Missouri Comets
Molle Toyota
Momo Bands  
Moneytalks Financial Foundation
Nature's Select
Oak Country Club
Origami Owl
Overland Park Regional Medical Center
Overland Park Soccer Club
Pacific Dental Services
Paciugo Gelato
Papa John's
Pizzeria Locale
Prairiefire Museum
Premier Designs Jewelry
Price Chopper 
Rasmussen College
Research Medical Center
Rock and Brews
Rosati's of Overland Park
Scott the Electrican
Simple Science
Slim Chickens
Smoothie King
Soccer Master
Southern Charmed
Sport Shake
Sporting Kansas City
Storage Mart
Sunflower Bank
Swope Park Rangers
Tastefully Simple
The Roasterie
The Storage Place
Thirty-One Gifts
Three Sisters
Tick Tock
Tiger-Rock Martial Arts
T-riffic T-shirts
University of Missouri Kansas City
Urban Air
Valley View Bank
Which Wich
Worlds of Fun/Oceans of Fun
You Oughta Be In Pictures
Young Living Essential Oils  
Zip KC

21 fields. 770 teams. 12 states.
The ALDI Heartland Invitational Tournament continued it's reputation of being the largest and best youth soccer tournament in the Kansas City area.
With the size of the tournament, it was split between two weekends girls and boys. The first weekend, Heartland welcomed 339 girls teams to the Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex and Swope Soccer Village. The second weekend featured 431 boys teams. Overall the tournament was better than we could have imagined.
One of the best things about Heartland tournaments is the growth each and every year. In 2014, this tournament brought in 591 teams. In 2015, it was 692. To increase our number to 770 teams is outstanding and we are so proud to represent all of the young athletes that competed.
The amount of traveling teams also continues to amaze us. Over the two weekends we had groups travel in from 12 different states─ Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming.
"We were thrilled to host soccer players and families from all over the Midwest at our ALDI Heartland Invitational," said Heartland Soccer Executive Director Shane Hackett. "This tournament continues to grow bigger and better every year. Thousands of players had the opportunity to experience what it is like to play on world class fields at Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex and Swope Soccer Village. It truly was an outstanding event!"
We want to thank all the players, coaches, staff, families, referees and sponsors for helping us make a difference in youth soccer.

Gateway Soccer Village is on schedule to open Spring 2017


To Learn more about Gateway Sports Village CLICK HERE


Coaches and Referees- a necessary partnership
The young Referee crew wasn't sure what the call should be, but blew the whistle and made a call. The parents let their passions out by shouting out their dissatisfaction. You could immediately see the effect on the Referee crew. Their heads went down and they didn't want to and didn't make any more calls. This was not ideal for this game.

One of the coaches saw the adult mentor on the sidelines. He wanted to make sure we were seeing what was taking place on the field. His comment: "I appreciate what you are trying to do in training the new Referees. And, I hope that you are successful and that this young team is assigned to the finals next year. I just don't want to see them on my next game!"

Players and Referees have a lot in common:
  • Love of the game
  • They learn from mistakes and improve from repetition
  • The more they play or referee the more skilled they become
  • They look to the coaches and mentors for feedback
  • If and when it stops being fun, they will quit.
Back to our story with the coach. The next day this coach was playing again (on a different field and with a different Referee crew). When the coach saw me he came up and told me that the Referee team in this game was working hard and doing really well.

Was this the "luck of the draw" or did experience make the second Referee team more effective? I would propose that both factors contributed to the difference in performance. There is no substitute for experience for either players or officials. How do the coaches contribute to a better soccer experience? They work with us to help the Referees get better. Many of our coaches have more experience with the game than the players or the Referees. We want to tap into that experience for the good of all. Help us by giving us feedback on gaps so that we can address them and being positive so the Referees will continue to give their best effort.
Some Referees develop faster than others. It could be personality, pride, soccer experience or character. Referees, like players, can be coached to a higher level of proficiency. And, like players, they respond to positive coaching better than complaints and anger. This is our joint mission.
We also recognize that some of our Referees won't listen or learn (does this happen with your players?) When they don't listen, and don't get better we need to know so we can help them make decisions on their future. And, if they don't have a positive character (you know, the ones who don't try and immediately dismiss the coaches when you give them feedback) let us know. Our vision - it takes more than skill to be a Heartland Referee. We want character also.
Referee Corner: What a difference a coach can make......
The sidelines were full with passionate parents cheering every touch by their U9 players. The coaches were highlighting plays with positive comments. And then it happened. The player took a shot on goal (not a bullet, but the ball was going to the goal). The goalie came out and tried to gather the ball. She got a hand on the ball but did not have full possession. And then an attacking player kicked the ball and it went into the goal. One half of the fans cheered. The other half was providing positive comments to the goalie for her effort. And, the Referee, who watched it all had to make a decision. Did the goalie have possession?
  • If he determined that the goalie did have possession it would not be a goal
  • If he determined that the goalie did not have possession it would be a goal
Welcome to the world of being a Referee.
Back to our story. The Referee made the decision that for "SAFETY" reasons the goalie had possession so he did not allow the goal. OK - what did the coach of the attacking do? She agreed with the call. Her logic was that if it happened at the other end of the field she would respect the Referee's decision for her goalie!"
When the coach accepted the call so did the parents. And the game went on. By the way, the coach was right. They got another goal and then another and another.
The Heartland Referee Peer Mentoring Program is our way of helping your Referees make the most correct calls. As we all know, after watching many soccer matches, there are many plays that require a "judgement" call from our young Referees. It could be handling. It could be a pass back to the goalie. Or, it could be possession by the goalie.
Thank all of you who share the personality of the coach in this story. Have confidence in the players and let them play the game. At the same time, let the Referee's learn to make more effective decisions. We all win in the end. Wouldn't you agree?

Peyton from
Kansas Rush Wichita
Position: Center Back

Player Experience: 9 Years
Soccer Achievements: Nominated for Rush Select Team & Selected to attend RushSelect National ID Camp
Academic Achievements: Honor Roll Student 3.85-4.0 GPA
Community Service: Neighborhood cleanup event, Kansas Foodbank, Pennies for Patients & volunteers at a local school
Memorable Soccer Experience: Rushfest & winning Junior State Cup
Favorite Food: Ice Cream

Ephraim from Jambars FC
Position: Midfield

Player Experience: 10 Years
Soccer Achievements: Tournament championships, Varsity player for Topeka High School
Academic Achievements: Honor Roll Recipient for number of years and citizenship
Memorable Soccer Experience: Scoring a bicycle kick in a tournament in Manhattan
Favorite Food: Pasta
Favorite Movie: Coach Carter
Favorite Book: Swindle


Meet the Betts: Jeremy, Brucker and Brandt.

There are a lot of ways to bond with your children and for Jeremy Betts it is reffing alongside his two sons, Brucker and Brandt. Time spent bonding with your child can teach positive principles and can present life lessons along the way. In 2014, the Betts trio took that to the next level by finding an activity that they all enjoyed and aspire to continue. One of the main reasons they all decided to referee was because they enjoy watching young athletes have fun. In fact, besides reffing, Brucker also volunteers at a kid's camp with his club team, KC Prime and with Ray-Pec High School. Volunteering is one of the many things that the boys learned from their father. When Jeremy isn't reffing or working, he enjoys doing community service and coaching his daughter's soccer and t-ball teams. During their time as refs, the Betts have learned a lot of life lessons: leadership, communication, patience and self control.
While Jeremy doesn't play soccer, both of his sons do. Brucker plays for KC Prime and Brandt plays for Sporting Academy. Although, they don't play for the same team, they all root for the same teams; Sporting Kansas City and the Chiefs! Congratulations to the Betts and thank you for everything you do!
Coaches Corner
Dribbling, Passing  & Shooting Drill

Red shirt player dribbles past blue cones.
Red shirt player passes ball beyond red cones to white shirt Player.
White shirt player runs on to ball and shoots.
  Common Kids Sports Injuries and
How to Treat Them
By Betsy Kellerman, ATC/LAT, Manager of the Overland Park Regional Medical Center Sports Medicine and Concussion programs.
When your child signs up for winter sports, your young athlete may come home with the occasional bump or bruise that you can easily treat with a little love and your first-aid kit.
But do you know what to do if something more serious happens? Unfortunately, each year about 1.35 million kids end up in the ER from sports-related injuries.
  1. Schedule a Sports Physical
Before your child laces up his cleats or sneakers, make sure he or she has a routine sports physical. Your doctor will take a detailed account of any previous injuries, medical conditions and a family history. We also ask about what kind of sports your child will be playing. After that, it's time for the exam, which covers everything from the top-most hair on your child's head all the way down to the toes. It's also the time where your kiddo can get the routine vaccines he needs.
  1. Know What to Do
Next time your child gets hurt, be prepared. Here are four common sports-related conditions, their symptoms and treatment.
Sprains and Strains
What's the difference? A sprain is an injury causing stretching or tearing to the ligament in the joint. A strain (a.k.a. pulled muscle) is an injury that causes stretching or tearing of the muscle. While strains are typically treated with rest, heat or cold, physical therapy can sometimes help, too. As for sprains, rapid physical therapy and the return to range-of-motion exercises is important, because it gets kids moving and back to their regular activities faster than using crutches or bed rest. In severe sprain cases, your child's doctor may suggest surgery based on the location of the sprain and condition of the ligament.
Heat Exhaustion
Heat illnesses are best prevented by avoiding being outside during the hottest parts of the day. If there's a game or practice then, make sure your child wears loose clothing, sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays, and stays hydrated. Plain old H20 is fine for activities that last less than an hour; for longer activities, try electrolyte replacements like Gatorade G2 or Pedialyte.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include weakness, headache, heavy sweating and cool, clammy skin.  Move your child to a cool place and rehydrate. If her symptoms don't improve within 30 minutes, call her doctor.
Heat Stroke
Heat stroke is a serious condition that requires emergency care. Symptoms include hot, dry skin, a high fever, vomiting and possibly loss of consciousness. If your child shows these signs, take him to the ER immediately.
A concussion happens when a blow to the head or other part of the body causes the brain to be jostled inside the skull. Symptoms include headache, dizziness and blurry vision; more severe signs include seizures and worsening headaches, as well as pronounced confusion or strange behavior. If your child has had a possible concussion, have him evaluated by a professional, either on the field or at the ER. Whether or not he'll need a hospital stay depends on the severity of the concussion. The good news: Most concussion cases are mild, and symptoms usually go away after a week. The best treatment is rest. Your child should avoid watching TV or using tablets, computers and video games, which stimulate the brain and could cause concussion symptoms to reappear or worsen. Over time he can slowly return to normal activities and sports, once his doctor gives the okay.
3. Coach Your Kid
Kids are prone to injury because they lack the inherent fear that adults have of getting hurt. And while your young athlete may think he's the next Tom Brady, he shouldn't push himself beyond his limits. Raising a young athlete is a team effort that includes the parents, coaching staff and doctors all teaching your child the importance of regular, safe sports practice, including strength-training, conditioning and flexibility.

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