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Roger Bryant

The history of high school soccer in the California Interscholastic Federation, Southern Section (CIFSS) begins with Roger Bryant, Mr. CIFSS SOCCER. Before one details his efforts, you are reminded that today the CIFSS consists of 581 high schools, (371 public, and 211 private) with 802,526 students. In 1963, the year before the founding of AYSO, there were only 4 CIFSS teams (Catholic parochial schools) with soccer programs and today, most every high school in the CIFSS has boys’ and girls’ high school soccer programs.

 

Roger Bryant at South Torrance High School recognized that AYSO player graduates, in 1969, had no high school soccer programs. With AYSO not providing a high school age soccer program (to initiate responsible high school soccer agendas) and the limited affiliated soccer teams in the high school age bracket, Roger Bryant commenced the first CIFSS public high school soccer program to join the few parochial schools in the CIFSS. The excellent playing skills learned in AYSO quickly elevated South Torrance High to two CIFSS high school soccer championships in the 1970s. West Torrance High School, coached by Roger Bryant’s friend Mike Eaton also led West Torrance to two CIFSS high school championships in the 1970s. The rivalry of West Torrance and South Torrance high schools with AYSO player graduates is one of the greatest high school soccer rivalries in the USA. With Torrance graduates at El Camino Community College (Torrance) and UCLA, the West Coast collegiate soccer spread like wild fire on the national scene.

 

The history of high school soccer in Southern California could be re-issued as Roger Bryant’s biography. Quoting Mike Eaton, “Soccer is the most organized of CIF sports and Roger Bryant is the reason. As president of the CIFSS Soccer Coaches Association, Roger Bryant detailed extensively the administration of high school soccer to be an example for the other high school sports.” Roger shortly became a member of the national rules committee and liaison between the CIF and the national high school committee. During his time as one of 11 members of the national federation, we’ve seen high school playing times go from 30-minute halves to 40-minute halves and high school rules go to 96 percent FIFA rules. Roger’s Christmas high school tournament is the largest high school holiday tournament held in the CIFSS. There was one year at South Torrance High School where the paid attendance for the league season was over 10,000, showing the way that high school soccer could be financed by its own gate receipts. One game at the South Torrance high school field had UCLA VS USC to a paid attendance over 5,000 fans, mostly from AYSO. 

 

 Roger was the first person responsible for the Los Angeles JR Chamber of Commerce Watts Summer Games in soccer. The Watts Summer Games, where the Three Refs On the Field (TROF) soccer reffing mechanics were initiated by Joe Bonchonsky, president of the CIFSS Soccer Officials Association, and with Roger Bryant’s coaches leadership, the Watts Summer Games fulfilled the Los Angels JR Chamber of commerce’s objectives of fair play between urban and suburban high school soccer players.                      

 

Roger Bryant has led the CIFFSS soccer coaches during the high school growth years and soccer in Southern California with its great success in college and is now one of the leading States in the fulfillment of the AYSO success route from youth, to high school, to college, to the Olympics, World Cup and professional soccer. Mr. Roger Bryant with his multitude of high school coaches in Southern California is the first honoree of the PIONEERS OF AYSO and deservedly so. Years of high school coaching coupled with dedicated administrative skills makes Roger Bryant an outstanding PIONEER OF AYSO HONOREE.

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