The Anthony Wayne Soccer Club and the Anthony Wayne Youth Soccer League are teaming up to apply for a grant to upgrade their 12 fields at the Nona France Recreation Area in Whitehouse.
The groups planned to begin the grant process this week by submitting a letter of intent to the U.S. Soccer Foundation. Since 1995, the foundation has given out $17 million in grants to soccer programs around the country.
If the foundation invites the Anthony Wayne organizations to apply, they will find out by May whether they will receive any money. Todd Frendt, director of publicity for the Anthony Wayne Soccer Club, said he is optimistic about getting a grant.
"We think what we're trying to do is in sync with the foundation's mission," Mr. Frendt said.
The Anthony Wayne soccer groups want to add irrigation and drainage to the 12 fields over the next five years. The changes would make the fields easier to maintain and allow them to be used for practices, not just games.
"The fields are in bad shape," Mr. Frendt said. "We have a terrible mole condition and lots of weeds and dead grass."
The field improvements would cost about $700,000. The groups are hoping to get half the money from the U.S. Soccer Foundation and raise the other half through corporate sponsorship and individual donations.
The Anthony Wayne Soccer Club, a traveling team for players ages 9 to 14, uses the Nona France fields for many games throughout the season. The club involves about 200 youngsters.
Even more area children are active in the Anthony Wayne Youth Soccer League, a recreational league with 1,200 players from kindergartners to 14-year-olds.