By TOBEY SCHMIDT
There have always been pick-up soccer games in Skagway, but after the 2014 World Cup the games grew in popularity. In 2015, Philip Wagner founded Skagway Shield, the adult soccer league.
Skagway Shield currently has eight teams, with each roster capped at 12 players. Duppy Ticarro, commissioner of Skagway Shield, said that he and the deputies do everything from field maintenance and equipment procurement to socials media posts and rules.
“We are such a diverse community seasonally, from visitors and employees that come from all corners of the globe,” Ticarro said. “Having one of the oldest and most popular sports in the world in rural Alaska is amazing.”
Skagway Shield concluded its third season on Aug. 3, with a championship game at the Seven Pastures Ball Fields. Two teams, Unnatural Selection and Refugee All Stars competed for the title. Unnatural Selection won the championship with a score of 3-1.
Pick-up soccer still happens once to twice a week, which welcomes all levels of play.
While the league also welcomes all levels of skill, it’s incredibly competitive, said Ticarro.
Last season Skagway Shield turned down a ninth team, but Ticarro hopes that they can extend the season and bring in ten teams, as well as continuing soccer in the Skagway Recreation Center through the winter. Ticarro also hopes to compile a Skagway team to play in tournaments in Juneau and Whitehorse.
“The municipality has been so generous in assisting the league as much as they can in hopes that it grows in size, popularity and support,” Ticarro said.
“In the end, we would love to garner the support the municipality gives to the softball league to our soccer league.”