CRSA History (Est. 1993)

Mission
The mission of the Congaree Rapid Football Club (CRFC) is to provide quality coaching in a structured classic league soccer environment. Our desire is not to be the largest or most elite soccer club, but one that serves the player who strives to become a better soccer player at the classic league and high school level. Player development is our ultimate goal!

Club Evolution & Facilities
The Congaree Soccer Association (CSA) was formed in 1993 with the intent to provide classic league (Select) soccer for boys in the Cayce/West Columbia and Downtown Columbia communities. Via collaboration between Brookland-Cayce High School head coach Kevin Heise and then Dreher High School head coach Todd Wilkinson, along with a host of early visionaries including: John Ballenger, Ronny Burkett, Chris Collins, Tony Easterling, Jesse Eudy, Mike Stamps, Bill Sutton, and Ben Whetstone, among others, the club was born.

After several names for the club were considered, the group decided on “Congaree” to reflect the confluence of the Broad and Saluda rivers that run through the South Carolina state capital city of Columbia and tie the two geographic areas together.

The club quickly grew to encompass both boys and girls and in 1995 changed their collective name to the Congaree Rapid Soccer Association (CRSA) after having used different nicknames for each age group team. There is NO “S” used in RAPID.

rap • id – An extremely fast-moving part of a river, caused by a steep descent in the riverbed.

CRSA initially used Richland School District One’s Memorial Field as their home site. Memorial Field was located behind historic Memorial Stadium in the Rosewood community in Columbia until district development of baseball/softball fields eliminated this facility. Cooperating with the Columbia YMCA, CRSA also used soccer facilities at the Owens Field complex located across from the Owens Field Airport in Rosewood until the early 2000s.

The Rapid secured the use of River Bluff Baptist Church off Old State Road in the Riverland Park community in Cayce in 2003.

The Congaree Rapid implemented the Junior Academy program aimed specifically at the development of boys/girls under the age of 12 in 2004.

In 2007, CRSA began working in conjunction with Lexington School District Two and utilizing facilities at Granby Education Center in Cayce and Northside Middle School in West Columbia. Also, occasional use of fields at Airport High School and Brookland-Cayce High School has been granted.

CRSA adopted the current club colors of Maroon & Sky Blue prior to the 2009 fall season.

CRSA started training at the West Columbia Soccer Complex off Old Barnwell Road in 2010.

In 2013, the Rapid were able to make arrangements with Heathwood Hall Episcopal School in Columbia in order to stage practices at their site. This arrangement will continue in 2014 as well.

Efforts are on-going for the club in pursuit of securing a true home venue. In 2013, CRSA entered into a 10-year lease on 11.4 acres at the Historic Columbia Speedway in Cayce. The lease has an option for 10 more years at its’ completion in 2022. The key issue facing the club regarding development of this site is simply financial in nature.

Also in 2013, CRSA along with the Magnum Volleyball Club, began work with the Lexington County Recreation & Aging Commission to develop a soccer/volleyball complex on the site of the South Carolina State Farmers Market - http://scstatefarmersmarket.com/ - in West Columbia. Despite this referendum being defeated in November 2014, efforts will continue to pursue this project via private/public methods.

Club Affiliation, Leagues, and Membership
CRSA is a member of the South Carolina Youth Soccer Association (SCYSA) and of the Midstate District which is comprised of the Aiken, Columbia, Lexington, Rock Hill, and Sumter areas. For more information on SCYSA, please visit www.scysa.org.

SCYSA is a member of the United States Youth Soccer Association (USYSA). For more information on USYSA, please visit http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/.

In 2012, CRSA became the Palmetto State’s first NSCAA Member Club. For more information on NSCAA Member Club membership, please visit http://www.nscaa.com/membership/member-club.

CRSA entered an affiliation with the West Metro Soccer Club (formerly Pineview/Pine Grove Soccer Club) in 2003 as the "classic league extension" of the West Metro SC Recreational League. West Metro SC serves the recreational soccer communities of Cayce-West Columbia, Pine Ridge, and Springdale and is a member of the Lexington County Recreation Soccer Club. CRSA’s partnership with West Metro SC has led to the Lexington County Recreation & Aging Commission (LCRAC) recognizing CRSA as the Lexington County classic league provider for Cayce-West Columbia and use of the facilities at the West Columbia Soccer Complex on Old Barnwell Road. In Fall 2013, LCRAC authorized the renaming of the West Metro Soccer Club to CRSA West Metro.  For more information on CRSA West Metro, please visit http://westmetrosoccerclub.com/.

Most Rapid U13-U18 teams participate in either the SCYS sponsored President’s Medal Soccer League (PMSL) or the S.C. State Challenge League (SCSCL). CRSA Junior Academy teams participate in the Sandlapper League.

Congaree Rapid FC - January 1, 2015
The Congaree Rapid Soccer Association is proud to announce the rebranding of our club effective January 1, 2015 to Congaree Rapid FC (CRFC). The decision to rename the club was made via unanimous vote of the CRSA Board of Directors at the November 2014 monthly meeting.

Founded in 1993 to provide the Downtown Columbia and Cayce/West Columbia communities with a true soccer alternative, Congaree Rapid FC, is a 501(c)(3) organization which serves more than 300 boys/girls ages 8-18. This past fall, the club fielded 14 Select U13-U18 teams as well as 6 Junior Academy U8-U12 sides. In conjunction with CRSA West Metro, our recreational soccer affiliate, Congaree Rapid FC serves more than 500 youth players.
For more information on Congaree Rapid FC, please visit www.congareerapid.com.