Senior creates local pickup soccer league

Students’ desire to play continues post season


Megan Hoenie

Senior Mohamed Mohamed dribbles past seniors Sammy Ruff and Aaron Ellingson Oct. 24. For more information visit @slppickup on Instagram.

Adin Zweigbaum

Senior Nick Riley said he was upset after the end of his high school soccer career so, while sitting at home bored, Riley came up with the idea to create a freeplay soccer league, using Instagram.

“I just made an Instagram account, because I had an idea and I got a few people to follow it,” Riley said.

Senior Mohamed Mohamed, Riley’s former teammate, said unlike a varsity sport, the pickup games are open to everybody -— even those without previous experience.

“Pickup is for everyone, whether you play soccer or not,” Mohamed said.

“We have a couple people from football. Some people who don’t even play football or soccer have been there.”

Junior Dare Kroeten said, the laid-back nature of the pickup league has not taken away from the competitiveness.

“It wasn’t as serious as a practice, but it was just competitive enough,” Kroeten said. “We were all having fun and playing soccer.”

According to Riley, the pickup league is keeping the community together, even after the early ending to both teams’ seasons.

“(Boys’ and girls’ soccer) got knocked out in Sections pretty early, but we all want to keep playing together,” Riley said.

It just takes one person to get it started (and) to take the initiative.”

— Nick Riley

Kroeten said the league is doing better than others may have imagined, in terms of how many people are participating in the games.

“Ten (people) is already a pretty good number for pickup,” Kroeten said. “I heard the other day though, they had enough people to play 11 vs. 11.”

As a senior, Riley will no longer be leading the pickup league after this year, but his message still stands that a one person can start something that many others can enjoy.

“There’s people who want to play soccer even if they are not soccer players. It just takes one person to get it started (and) to take the initiative,” Riley said.   

To find more on when the league will next take place, SLP pickup can be followed on Instagram @slppickup.