Wilco Ravestijn has a history of innovation and entrepreneurship.
In 2001, Wilco partnered with the Plano YMCA and formed Club Classic Soccer. A club emerged from a single skills session consisting of only 3 players. Over the subsequent 11 years, Club Classic Soccer became an exclusive boys soccer club with the merger of Texas Spirit, an all-girls soccer organization. As the originator and Executive Director of the Brother-Sister club concept, Wilco grew the clubs to over 60 teams with 25 coaches in 3 YMCA locations.
During this tenure, Wilco also revolutionized the way young players under the age of 10 received training by forming the Super Development League (SDL). At the time, North Texas State Soccer Association (NTSSA) only allow recreational soccer to be coached by volunteer parents, restricting teams to be formed under 10 years of age with no more than 1 skills session per week from a professional youth coach. Mostly volunteers and well-meaning yet uncultured soccer administrators unknowingly were prohibiting key developmental years with these regulations out of fear and stereotyping professional youth coaches. Having the experience of growing up in the Dutch Soccer Youth System, and understanding other developed soccer cultures, Wilco innovatively created the SDL to foster a positive development environment for young players to enjoy and learn the game sooner. The league grew to over 350 teams within 2 years and advanced the North Texas youth soccer landscape forever.
Wilco’s key strengths exist in strategic thinking and vision. The current footballing soccer pyramid and culture in North Texas have remained static and is due for significant advancement. This pursuit will evolve through the Lions Football Club.