Stones River Futbol Club’s inaugural season kicked off in the Fall of 1985 as one of the first programs in Middle Tennessee. Play began humbly at Smyrna Elementary School right next to a cow pasture. Founding members, HG Cole and Doug Carline, brought the beautiful game to approximately 75 recreational players and soccer in our area never looked back.
As the program grew with the game in the state of Tennessee, demands grew as well. The first attempt at a “travel” program was undertaken by Ronald Patterson, HG Cole, and Rich Wyckoff. It amounted to middle school teams playing other middle school teams in the area. This attempt soon sparked the next evolution of soccer in our community - “select soccer.” Led by Effrain and Debbie Garcia and Marc Michaelson, Smyrna’s first select program launched as the Smyrna Flame. The group was made up of players from the recreational program and combined boys and one girl from the 1979-81 age groups. Over the years, soccer in Smyrna grew significantly on the recreational and select sides of the program. A pivotal moment in this growth came when Richard Black began the club’s first all girls program, the Shooting Stars.
Since those early years, the club has changed names a number of times to adapt to the changing environment. In 1990, the program officially became North Rutherford Soccer. The select programs continued to operate under a host of names through the years, but the recreational program would be NRS through the 2010’s.
In 1998, the club moved operations to a new facility. Leaving behind a cow pasture, porta johns, and a Pepsi trailer concession stand, we began play at a 30.5 acre park known as the Rotary Soccer Park. The park was built with the combined assistance of the soccer club, the Town of Smyrna, and the park’s namesake - the Rotary Club of Smyrna. Later in the 90’s, Bill Jordan and Rich Wyckoff negotiated a deal to purchase an adjacent 12 acres from Smyrna resident Knox Ridley. That land was developed into three new fields that opened in 2019.
As the club continued to grow, it continued to look for new programs to add for the community. In the early 2000’s Michael Sullivan turned an organized pickup adult program into a robust adult soccer program. The program now includes a “competitive” adult league and a U90 program for those looking for something a bit more relaxed.
In 2010, Richard and Lori Black launched an introductory program that came to be known as the “Ripples Program.” The name was a nod to our select program at the time - “The Rapids.” It offered introductory soccer and motor skills training for children too young to begin recreational soccer. The program continues to introduce young people to soccer, and sports generally, each recreational season.
In 2017, the club took a step to put all soccer programming under the same name and under the same badge. Stones River Futbol Club emerged as the unified program that now consists of soccer at all levels from ages 3-99. The Recreational and Select programs were also strengthened by a bridge between the two with the launch of our Developmental Academy.
In the Fall of 2020, Stones River Futbol Club will mark its 35th year in operation. As we move toward 40, we hope to continue to evolve with the soccer community and continue to share the beautiful game with young people.