Old Princeton Tiger soccer players don’t go out to pasture; they just stay on the soccer pitch.
An assortment of 20 former Princeton High School athletes ranging from ages to 18 to 32, are playing once again for the Princeton Futbol Club. Eighteen were soccer players for PHS while two were footballers, making for one big Tiger reunion.
“I think that it’s a blast getting back together with some of the guys that I played with in high school, however also to joining forces with the younger individuals who took over the program after we left,” said Kurt Garvin, who has served as a PFC captain. “PHS soccer events were my greatest memories from high school and to be back with fellow Tigers and play again at a competitive level is really neat. We take a lot of pride in our organization and enjoy representing Princeton on an amateur sports team level.”
Garvin, an EMT for the Princeton Fire Department, plays with as many as four former teammates at PHS (class of 2004), playing for his dad’s Tigers. Josh Taylor is the old-timer on the team, which includes recent 2013 grads like Austen Stewart, Miguel Austin, Kevin Sanchez and Ryan Enbom.
“I’ve got to hand it to Josh, he’s still pretty good,” Garvin said.
PHS assistant coach David Gray (class of 2000) has taken over the reigns as team captain this year. Other team members include Andrew Whitlock, Scott Jackson, Brian Jackson, Gabe Kelly, Brian Taylor, Matt McClure, B.J. Arndt, Brandon Nink, Sam Schlesinger, Jason Savage, Eric Savage and Caleb Tomaszewski as well as former PHS footballers Zac Bird and David Hornbaker.
PHS coach Jason Bird said it’s great to see the former Tigers “be able to play a game they love playing.”
This is the sixth season for the Princeton team, which is a member of the six-team league based out of DePue. Saturday’s 7-1 win over Monterey lifted PFC (17) into a second-place tie with LaSalle behind Toluca (19). Teams received three points for a win and one for a tie.
This summer, Princeton FC has moved its soccer pitch from City-County Park to the still relatively new confines of Zearing Park. Garvin said it’s been a great boost to the team and has revived interest from the community, drawing as many as 100 spectators to their Sunday evening contests.
“Zearing Park is a great location for us and has definitely helped with the crowd,” Garvin said. “The park provides a great environment with the surrounding scenery and well kept turf. Hopefully this is the spark for more soccer matches and other events at this new location. It has a lot to offer and should be used more often.
“We’ve been told we’re pretty fun to watch. We’re competitive about it and take it pretty seriously.”
PFC will travel to DePue Saturday to play La Pena at 6 p.m. It has remaining home games on Aug. 4 and 18, both at 6 p.m. with league semifinals slated for Sept. 1.
The team has purchased new uniforms this year and holds community fundraisers including the sale of T-shirts and concessions. They are also sponsored by Hornbaker Gardens and Taylor’s Turf and Trees.