Kicking off

Another Marshalltown Premier Soccer League season starts at Toledo Heights Park

Just some of the action that took place at the May 5, Marshalltown Premier League season opener. PHOTO BY MICHAEL CHAMPION DAVIS

The sky is blue, the grass is green, the balls are flying through the air, and the player’s feet are a blur in the daylight. It’s the Marshalltown Premier League returning for another summer full of soccer and fun. The season started off, last Sunday with a lot of smiles and cheers, as everyone celebrated the start of the games.

“Everything’s working perfect, the teams are happy to be back too, I feel. Everyone wanted this, you know, on a Sunday, come here in the sun, and have some fun,” Salud said about the season’s opening Sunday.

This is the second year under the new management of the young bright-eyed Salud Sanchez. Last year, Salud implemented multiple improvements to the soccer field at the Toledo Heights Park and to the event that is the Sunday morning soccer. One was the barrels that sit around the field for easy clean up of spectators’ trash.

Everyone’s favorite change that Salud had made last year, involved his mother. Their food stand La Hielerita will return, once Mother Sanchez returns from Mexico. With his Mother in the back making the food, Salud worked the front taking the orders. Last year, often before the 1:00 games have even started, the La Hielerita stand would sell out of their delicious delicacies. A couple of other food stands are interested in setting up at the Sunday soccer games, but nothing is official yet.

Some things are different this year including the number of teams. There are three fewer teams overall, but hopefully, more teams will sign on as the season progresses. Two teams this year are brand new to the Marshalltown Premier League, Cuba FC, and Marion FC which will be coming every week from the community near Cedar Rapids.

Salud Sanchez the Marshalltown Premier League manager filled with new ideas for the weekend soccer games. PHOTO BY MICHAEL CHAMPION DAVIS

Two Championships will also be held this year, to see who is the best of the best on the grass. The first championship will be held in mid-July and the second in mid-October. Many local area businesses sponsor the Sunday soccer games and summer championships. Several have done so since the league’s start while others have just signed on.

Some of the new sponsors this year include, Karl Auto Group, Studio M, 701 Construction, and La Carreta. Some bigger, brighter, six-foot-long, new publicity tarps for the sponsors will be in place all season long, to show off and advertise the businesses that back the Marshalltown Premier League. One new sponsor, Sports and Fashion, out of Marion, had a stand at the field this last Sunday, selling jerseys and other assorted items.

This year, Salud has a few ideas he’s going to make sure happen for this season. First is the goals. They will be repainted, refurbished, and set up with brand-new nets ready for game time. The goals will also be left up all season long, so as Salud says, “that way people can enjoy the goals for recreational soccer within the community.”

One of Salud’s goals, next on his to-do list, would be to level out some bad patches of dirt and grass, to make the field as flat as a pancake for the players. Mowing is also something Salud has been staying on top of. Local new Tama landscaping company, Legendary Lawn Services, has trimmed the grass. Making sure the field has that perfect look and feel.

An idea of Salud’s, yet to come to fruition, is the possibility of Saturday games. The League has traditionally only played on Sundays, but the thought of getting more game time in, and possibly even another short tournament on the long weekends is exciting. Only Sunday games are lined up currently but don’t be surprised if, in a few months, the entire weekend is jam-packed full of soccer.

The Bobcats, the Marshalltown Premier League’s 2023 Champions. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO.

Salud expressed his gratitude to all of those who help in one way or another with the Sunday soccer games.

“I would like to give out a special thanks to the City of Toledo for the facilities to use their fields, to all the team organizers, fans, and players that make all of this happen, as well as our local sponsors who have always shown the support to our league,” he said.

So if you’re a sports fan who has got nothing to do on a Sunday morning, or if you’re just looking for some nice grub from a good food stand, take a ride down to Toledo Heights Park and check out the action.