Work in Progress‎ > ‎South Torrance‎ > ‎

Jim Allen

Jim Allen 1965

Born: Santa Monica, CA (1956)

Education: South Torrance High School (1974), UCLA (1978)

 

I started playing soccer at recess with my best friends David Carson and Freddie Molina at Sepulveda Elementary School in 1964 (9 years old). They told me about this new soccer league that had just started over at Jefferson Elementary School. The following year I joined the Mustangs in Division II of AYSO with Willie Carson and Hugh Sloway as the coaches. My parents had never heard of the game, but my passion convinced them to sign me up.

 

From then on it seemed my life revolved around soccer. Every night before dinner, I would kick a ball against a retaining wall, destroying my mother’s potted plants in the process as I learned to kick with both feet and juggle a soccer ball. I looked forward to our weekly practices and stayed late to soak up all the tips my coaches could provide.

 

Some of my best memories of AYSO were playing at Continental Soccer Field, playing in tennis shoes in those initial years, my first trophy (back in the day when they kept score (AYSO Kicker) and only gave out trophies to the winning teams), the 7up jerseys, and oranges at half time.

 

As the Torrance AYSO expanded from 18 teams in three divisions to the hundred of thousands of players nationwide, Torrance became our backyard and every elementary school a soccer field. As the initial players of the game in Torrance, we were the first wave of players to meet in high school and continue the rivalries developed in AYSO. Those rivalries even continue today as South/West meets every June at Fram Field to play for charity and a cold beer. The play of these 50-60 year olds from West Torrance and South Torrance is not only still sharp but also their hearts are examples of lessons learned in AYSO. Alumni players travel from many States, their new residences, to competitively participate and most importantly to raise funds to combat a disease that fell one of their fellow AYSO players. The fallen player, Scott Johnson (lymphoma), is from South Torrance High and the game coordinator (Joe Bonchonsky JR) is from West Torrance High and, thereby, exhibiting the respect for each other, until the starting game whistle blows and continues until the beer flows afterwards. Over $5,000 per annual game is raised with most of the money coming from the former teammates and worthy opponents. The spirit of playing in AYSO continues with the AYSO ALUMNI PIONEERS, especially in the birth City of Torrance.

 

High School was one of the best times of my life thanks to soccer. I continued my relationship with AYSO as a referee while playing soccer for South Torrance High School. I was fortunate enough to be named to the ALL-CIF Team, Player of the League (Bay League), and High School All-American all thanks to my start in AYSO.

 

Soccer continued on into college playing on a soccer scholarship at UCLA with such players as Sigi Schmid, Peter Frederickson, and David Atkinson; all graduates of AYSO.

 

Today, I continue to play for an over 50 Team (gulp) in San Diego which has allowed me to play senior tournaments in such places as New Zealand, Budapest, Peru, Canada, and other local venues. It always seems our family’s vacation somehow revolves around soccer.

 

As our parents did for us, I too have passed the love of the game down to my children and coached for the last 12 years in the local leagues. If not for those German and Scottish coaches from the early days of AYSO, I know that my life would not have been so rewarding.

 

I want to thank all the people involved with this great organization that has given me so many memories and kept me fit over the years. All the best in soccer…

Comments