On the ball

Logan Tucker

Photo By Meredith J. Cooper

Not a lot of people know Chico has its own amateur soccer team especially after the departure of the Rooks. That’s a fact that irks its new captain, Logan Tucker, because the Chico Bigfoot has been around for almost a decade. Since he took the reins in May, however, Tucker has been working to get the word out and hopes this winter to see the stands full of spectators. The 24-year-old admits he’s a bit young to be coaching guys his own age, but after playing on the team for five years and coaching at Pleasant Valley High, his alma mater, he’s up for the challenge. The Bigfoot is part of the Premier Arena Soccer League, and finished second in the Pacific Division this past summer. The team kicks off the winter season against Estadio Azteca out of Sacramento Saturday (Dec. 6) at 1 p.m. at Chico Off the Wall Soccer on East 20th Street. Tickets are $5. For more information, log onto www.myspace.com/chicobigfoot.

You had to cut 30 players this year?

Yeah, it was nice. I’m local, so I know a lot of the players, and I invited a bunch of people out. We had about 52 people come out and 20 play. It’s nice to be able to make cuts because then it’s actually a prestigious team.

What position do you play?

Defender. I’m actually not really playing this year because it’s not fun to be a coach and a player. It’s kind of weird being the same age as the players and being their coach, so I haven’t really decided what to do, but in our practice games, I’ve kept myself out of it. It’s hard for me to do, but I think it’s important.

How many people typically come to watch?

About 150. The place fills up at 300-350. If we could fill the arena up, it would be really fun. I’ve actually brought people who hated soccer—I’ve told them, just come for one game—and by the end they were having a blast. It’s pretty physical and fast-paced. We sell beer in the arena, which makes it a little more fun.

How do you pay for the team?

I want to start a recycling program, where I get businesses to collect their recyclables into a bin that I can pick up. And the money that comes in from that would pay for the team. I kind of feel like the trash man, but I feel it’s a source of revenue that no one has noticed. I have 37 houses doing it now, but I’d like to get businesses involved, too. It’s a way to be sustainable and eco-friendly. That’s how I want to fund the team in the future, especially the way the economy is now.