After a long year and a half of uncertainty due to the pandemic, Woodinville’s renowned soccer coach Scott Hall excitedly welcomed back students for his 30th year running the youth program.
Scott’s Soccer Tots is designed to teach both soccer and life skills to young children, while also teaching them how to be part of a team. Hall also runs Scott’s Hot Shots, which are soccer classes for children ages 6-10.
On Sept. 7, he said, about 200 students showed up for the first fall session.
“I’m extremely grateful for the community of Woodinville and the Northshore communities that have supported [Scott’s Soccer Tots] all these years,” he said. “It's just been phenomenal.”
Scott’s Soccer Tots started in 1991 at the Woodinville Indoor Soccer Center, which is now occupied by Ascend Gymnastics. The program began with two classes and 24 kids in total, he said. At one point, Hall was teaching seven classes a day equaling 35 classes a week with 420 children.
“I scaled back a bit since then,” Hall said. “I know I've always loved what I've done. It’s been the best job ever; it doesn't feel like a job.”
He said the pandemic regulations forced him to cancel classes for more than a year in 2020 and early 2021. This summer, he was finally able to offer soccer camps for hundreds of local children again. Hall said 18 staff members for the camps were former participants of Scott’s Soccer Tots.
“I think people wanted to get back out and do something normal again,” he said.
Much like Hall’s students, he was introduced to soccer at a young age. His family moved to Issaquah when he was five years old.
On his first day in the new town, Hall was riding his bike when he noticed his next-door neighbor juggling a soccer ball in the yard. He was mesmerized.
The neighbor Richard Warlick, who was seven years older, invited him over to kick the ball around. Hall ultimately credits his connection to soccer to Warlick. The duo became life-long friends with a brother-like relationship, he said.
“From that day, I fell in love with the game,” Hall said.
Hall continued to grow his passion and skills in soccer throughout high school. He went on to play for teams at Bellevue Community College and California State University, Chico.
After college, Hall was chosen for a semi-professional soccer team called the Everett BigFoot. The team played its final season in 1998 as the Puget Sound BigFoot, Hall said.
“I would say that 95 percent of the people I associated with in my life are directly or indirectly related to the game of soccer,” he said.