Flathead’s Best Gear up For Premier Soccer Season

By Beacon Staff

The best of Northwest Montana’s soccer stars kick off another season on Tuesday when the Flathead Rapids hold their first day of tryouts at the Mike Stebbins Soccer Complex east of Kalispell.

The Rapids are a collection of men’s soccer players 18 and older who participate against the best soccer players from other areas like Helena, Missoula and Great Falls in the Montana Premier Soccer League. Players range from current high schoolers to college players to ex-alumni in their early 30s.

The Rapids are the league’s defending champions.

“It’s the highest level of soccer in the state, bar none,” said O’Brien Byrd, the Rapids’ captain and also the coach of Whitefish’s state-champion high school boys soccer team.

Tryouts are at 5:30 p.m. on April 1 and April 3. Go to www.flatheadrapids.com for a map of how to get to the Stebbins Complex and other information on the team.

Once the season is underway, the team plays two games every other Sunday, Byrd said. The Rapids practice twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday. In total, the team plays eight games, not including the end of the year tournament.

This year’s tourney is held in Whitefish.

“We’re really excited about that,” Byrd said.