Pastor starts soccer program

Caleb Frink is bringing his love of God and soccer to area children.

Frink, assistant pastor of student ministries at Fellowship Baptist Church in Vienna and varsity soccer coach at Wood County Christian School in Williamstown, is organizing an Upward Sports’ kids soccer program in the area this spring. Upward Sports is a worldwide Christian sports program designed to provide a positive sports experience for the entire family, according to its website.

Frink’s plans call for boys and girls in grades K-6 to learn the game of soccer in a fun way. Games will be played on a soccer field adjacent to Fellowship Baptist Church at 3300 Rosemar Road.

Practices will begin the first week of April and the first game will be April 12.

Frink said he wants the children to enjoy the game of soccer regardless of their skill level. All the kids are guaranteed to play half the game and even the best players will sit out some of the game, he said.

“It’s no fun to sit on the bench,” Frink noted.

The Upward soccer field will be shorter than a normal soccer field and fewer players will be on the field at a time.

No winning team will be declared. “It’s for fun and exercise,” Frink said.

Fees will be used to pay for uniforms and help with the equipment costs in the nonprofit program, Frink said.

Frink, 27, started playing soccer at the age of 8. He was born in Millersburg, Ohio, but moved to New Zealand at the age of 2 with his parents, who are missionaries.

He played on club soccer teams in New Zealand before enrolling at Appalachian Bible College in Beckley, where he played soccer and graduated in 2009. He was hired at Fellowship Baptist Church in August 2011 after working at Crosspoint Worship Center in Scott Depot, W.Va.

Short devotionals will be given during soccer practices and at halftime of the Upward games.

“We want to show a love of God as we play sports,” Frink said.

Children and adults of all religious denominations are welcome to join the program, Frink said.

Frink is looking for parents willing to coach and referee in the program. Training will be provided.

Registration can be done online at www.fellowshipchurch.net. Volunteers can contact Frink at 304-295-8982.

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Jon Bango was greeted by shouts of “surprise!” as he walked through the door to the bar area of the Knights of Columbus on Market Street last Friday evening. The 50 people in the room then started singing “Happy Birthday” to a surprised Bango, who was accompanied by his wife, Mary. After the song, Bango’s first reaction was “wow!” The crowd of family and friends gathered to wish the Parkersburg businessman a happy 70th birthday. Bango actually turns 70 on Sunday but this was a more convenient time to have a surprise birthday party, said his daughter MacKenzie Bango. Jon and Mary, who were celebrating their 32nd wedding anniversary on Valentine’s Day, planned to meet a couple at the Knights of Columbus before heading to the Blennerhassett Hotel for dinner. That was before being surprised by MacKenzie with her birthday party and dinner plans. Among those attending were Jon’s sister Anita Zide of Williamstown and his friends Mike and Laura Coyne of Cleveland and Charlie and Margarita Sole of Annandale, Va. Jon has owned and operated Bango Appraisal Service at 926 Market St. since 1976. He is president of the Parkersburg High School Class of 1962 reunion committee.

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Online voting is underway for “A Night of Dancing With the Stars,” a fundraiser to benefit the Actors Guild of Parkersburg. Each $1 donated for your favorite dance couple equals a vote. These votes, combined with voting on the night of the event and the judges’ scores on March 8 at the Parkersburg Art Center will determine a winning dance couple. Dance teams are Lisa Starcher Collins and Bob Heflin, Michelle Lynch-Bowling and David Wells, Morgan Smith and Todd Stubbe, Kristin Mitchem and Dr. Robert Akers, Sharon Callow and Michael Ream, Sharon Kesselring and Bryan Ream, and Heather Allen and Mark Lanyon. To vote online and purchase tickets go to www.actorsguildonline.org.

Contact Paul LaPann at plapann@newsandsentinel.com