The Elkhorn Athletic Association and Elkhorn Soccer Club have been aligned in mission, vision and values as they served loyal youth and families. The two nonprofit organizations recently merged to provide even stronger and more comprehensive programs for the community.
The two groups and their programs are now united under the Elkhorn Athletic Association organization, but soccer will continue to operate as Elkhorn Soccer Club.
The association has strong community ties that stretch back decades in service to young athletes and their families. EAA's roots are in the Elkhorn Baseball Association, which formed in 1975 with a small number of athletes but grew to serve 700 players. They quickly realized the demand in the community for an organization to provide multiple sport opportunities for youth and families. In 2015, the board formed the nonprofit Elkhorn Athletic Association which combined the Baseball Association, the Junior Storm tackle football program started by former Husker quarterback Eric Crouch and the longstanding Elkhorn Girls Softball Association. Tagge Rutherford's Fighting Elk Select Baseball and Basketball programs merged into EAA at that time as well.
Founded in 1972, the ESC has grown to more than 1,500 players at all skill levels. The nonprofit organization serves players from ages 4 through high school and draws players from the Omaha area, but mostly from Elkhorn. The club is dedicated to helping all players reach their full potential regardless of ability level, including children with special needs. The club's mission is to develop a culture of excellence and are committed to holistic child development. ESC believes kids have the best opportunity to reach their potential if raise in a culture focused on development of the whole person, not one where success is based solely on winning. The club aims to develop both the athlete and the person, unlocking the full potential of ever child, in all aspects of life, in a safe, positive and education environment.
EAA makes the best use possible of available fields, but faces challenges. The association has a fantastic partneship with Elkhorn Public Schools but does not own any of the 24 field currently used. EAA has made significant investments in EPS fields, building dugouts and completing other improvements, but there are limitations without ownership.
The Elkhorn Soccer Club has also face a field shortage. With only three home game fields for teams 11U-19U families and athletes have trekked across the metro Omaha for games. It has been difficult for the club to expand teams and programs because of the limited number of available fields.
EAA proposed to create an Outdoor Complex on over 140 acres near 264th and Ida Streets just off Highway 275. This state-of-the-art Complex will be a signature destination facility for outdoor youth athletics and community recreation - not just for the Elkhorn community but for the region: Youth sports will be the complex's anchor, but the expansive and professionally designed facility will serve as a year round destination for community recreation, offering features ranging from picnic areas and playgrounds to running and walking paths.
This complex will give EAA a home and an identity, in a single location. Additionally, this endeavor is a great opportunity to collaborate with the community to support parents, kids and coaches to enable stronger programs for young athletes.
The association's goal is to open the initial baseball, softball, soccer & football fields within the next two years while adding fields in the future. Plans also call for the phasing of additional athletic and recreation features over the next three to five years.