Almost a year ago Tyler Breaman, a Daily Sun Staff Writer, published an article about The Villages Soccer Club’s very own Payton Rausch. Payton, who currently plays on The Villages Soccer Club Youth Competitive U15 Team as well as The Villages High School Soccer Team, was preparing to participate in an Olympic Development Program. For those of you who are unfamiliar with what this means; ODP for the Florida Youth Soccer Association is a program used to identify the best players in their age group and give them the chance to compete against other top players from all over.
The article by Tyler Breaman used a quote from a player for the 2017 The Villages SC PDL Soccer Team. That player, Jackie Kay, was part of the Olympic Development Program himself. The quote and advice offered by Kay was “Just to go in with an open mind and to make it a whole learning experience, and play well enough to be back next year.”
Payton did just that! This year he made the first team for the 2004 Olympic Development Program Region III. Region III is comprised of eleven southern states with Texas being split between Texas-North and Texas-South. Payton and his fellow Region III State Teammates will travel to Tuscaloosa, Alabama July 8th through July 12th to compete for the opportunity to be on the regional team that will travel to Casa Grande, Arizona in November.
Brian Rausch, father of Payton Rausch, is a coach for The Villages Soccer Club Youth U15 soon to be U16 Team. When giving details of Payton’s exciting news his final sentence was “Keep up the hard work”. Hard work is an understatement when it comes to all members of the Rausch family. The Villages Soccer Club is honored to have them be part of our club.
Payton, good luck as you embark on the next step. We are so proud to have you as a role model to our younger athletes as well as a wonderful example to your fellow teammates. We will be cheering for you all the way. Go Payton! Go Buffalo!