Home Local Sports Richmond Adult Soccer League preps for 5th season, registration open

Richmond Adult Soccer League preps for 5th season, registration open

Team La Cabana, pictured here, has won the last three RASL championships. The new season begins next week.
Photo courtesy of the Richmond Adult Soccer League.

ROCKINGHAM — Area adults looking to stay active and intertwine their enjoyment for the game soccer will have that opportunity for the fifth-straight year.

The Richmond Adult Soccer League, which is one of the most successful adult sporting leagues in Richmond County, will kick off its fall season early next month, and is currently registering teams from across the Sandhills to compete. 

Headed by a collective group made up of J.R. Cottle, Jason Graham, Wayne Millen and David Stogner, the RASL is looking to grow in both size and competition.

With eight teams and over 100 players already signed up from several counties, the registration period will run through Saturday, Nov. 2. The cost is $400 per team, with a maximum of 18 players per roster, and league play will begin on Monday, Nov. 4. All participants must be 18 years or older and graduated from high school.

The format this season will see teams field seven players along with a goalkeeper. Cottle explained that one female player must be on the field at all times, and the season length guarantees at least one round-robin bracket. 

Playoffs will follow the regular season and will be single elimination. All games will be played at Browder or Bynum parks in Rockingham, with a final decision coming later this week. Previous seasons, which were under the direction of Chris and Deana Singletary, saw games played at Hamlet’s Buttercup Field.

“The RASL is important to Richmond County because it gives the adults and young adults in the area a way to stay involved in the game and a way for a lot of people to relive an exciting pastime,” Cottle, the owner of Hwy 55 in Rockingham, explained. “A lot of the guys and girls in the league played at Richmond Senior in their high school days, so it gives old teammates an opportunity to play together again.”

He added “it’s also a good form of exercise” for older players who want to maintain their physical activity.

Cottle credited the team of Graham, Millen and Stogner for putting forth the effort to make RASL a continued success. One area of the League he believes makes it one of the best in the region is the use of “legitimate, certified referees who can manage games.” 

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He, along with Graham and Millen, are all North Carolina High School Athletic Association certified officials.

“The quality of play (in the RASL) is very good and soccer is a beautiful game when it is played the right way,” Cottle explained. “The referees’ role is to manage the game so it is fun, fair and safe.”

While the fun of playing soccer and the camaraderie between teammates and all players are things Cottle and the organization know will take place, it’s the lasting impact of growing the sport in Richmond County that they hope to see take shape the most.

“I would love to see the game grow in Richmond County, starting at the youth level the way it is in other parts of the state,” he added. “We have a ton of great players in the area who either don’t get the exposure, training or opportunity to showcase their skills. 

“In having this league, I’m hoping that it will garner interest from the kids by watching the game and wanting to get better.”

Team La Cabana, which has two restaurants in Richmond County, has won the last three RASL championship titles. Another discussion the league is having is possibly  sponsoring a scholarship for RSHS soccer players, something that happened during earlier years.

With the clock ticking closer to the registration deadline, Cottle is encouraging local adults to become players, and people of all ages to become spectators. He added the RASL is still looking for sponsors for this fall, and interested parties can contact him at jrcottle1983@gmail.com.

For more information, visit the Richmond Adult Soccer League’s Facebook page.