CRFC History (Est. 1993)
The mission of the Congaree Rapid Football Club (CRFC) is to provide quality coaching in a structured classic league soccer environment. Our desire is not to be the largest or most elite soccer club, but one that serves the player who strives to become a better soccer player at the classic league and high school level. Player development is our ultimate goal!
Club Evolution & Facilities
The Congaree Soccer Association (CSA) was formed in 1993 with the intent to provide classic league (Select) soccer for boys in the Cayce/West Columbia and Downtown Columbia communities. Via collaboration between then Brookland-Cayce High School head coach Kevin Heise and then Dreher High School head coach Todd Wilkinson, along with a host of early visionaries including: John Ballenger, Ronny Burkett, Chris Collins, Tony Easterling, Jesse Eudy, Mike Stamps, Bill Sutton, and Ben Whetstone, among others, the club was born.
After several names for the club were considered, the group decided on “Congaree” to reflect the confluence of the Broad and Saluda rivers that run through the South Carolina state capital city of Columbia and tie the two geographic areas together.
The club quickly grew to encompass both boys and girls and in 1995 changed their collective name to the Congaree Rapid Soccer Association (CRSA) after having used different nicknames for each age group team. There is NO “S” used in RAPID.
rap • id – An extremely fast-moving part of a river, caused by a steep descent in the riverbed.
CRSA initially used Richland School District One’s Memorial Field as their home site. Memorial Field was located behind historic Memorial Stadium in the Rosewood community in Columbia until district development of baseball/softball fields eliminated this facility. Cooperating with the Columbia YMCA, CRSA also used soccer facilities at the Owens Field complex located across from the Owens Field Airport in Rosewood until the early 2000s.
The Rapid secured the use of River Bluff Baptist Church (now Refuge Church) off Old State Road in the Riverland Park community in Cayce in 2003.
The Congaree Rapid implemented the Junior Academy program aimed specifically at the development of boys/girls under the age of 12 in 2004.
In 2007, CRSA began working in conjunction with Lexington School District Two and utilizing facilities at Granby Education Center in Cayce and Northside Middle School in West Columbia. Also, occasional use of fields at Airport High School and Brookland-Cayce High School had been granted.
CRSA adopted the club colors of Maroon & Sky Blue prior to the 2009 fall season.
CRSA started training at the West Columbia Soccer Complex off Old Barnwell Road in 2010.
In 2013, the Rapid were able to make arrangements with Heathwood Hall Episcopal School in Columbia in order to stage practices at their site. This arrangement concluded in 2021.
Club Affiliation, Leagues, and Membership
CRFC is a member of the South Carolina Youth Soccer Association (SCYSA) and of the Midstate District which is comprised of the Aiken, Columbia, Lexington, Rock Hill, and Sumter areas. For more information on SCYSA, please visit www.scysa.org.
SCYSA is a member of the United States Youth Soccer Association (USYSA). For more information on USYSA, please visit http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/.
In 2012, CRSA became the Palmetto State’s first United Soccer Coaches (then NSCAA) Member Club. For more information on USC Member Club membership, please visit https://unitedsoccercoaches.org/join/member-club/.
CRSA entered an affiliation with the West Metro Soccer Club (formerly Pineview/Pine Grove Soccer Club) in 2003 as the "classic league extension" of the West Metro SC Recreational League. Today, CRFC West Metro Rec serves the recreational soccer communities of Cayce-West Columbia, Pine Ridge, Red Bank, and Springdale. CRFCs partnership with West Metro led to the Lexington County Recreation & Aging Commission (LCRAC) recognizing CRFC as the Lexington County classic league provider for Cayce-West Columbia and use of the facilities at the West Columbia Soccer Complex on Old Barnwell Road. In Fall 2013, LCRAC authorized the renaming of the West Metro Soccer Club to CRSA West Metro Rec. For more information on CRFC West Metro Rec, please visit CRFC West Metro Rec.
Most Rapid 13U-19U teams participate in either the SCYS sponsored Open League, President’s Medal Soccer League (PMSL), or the Challenge League (SCSCL). CRSA Junior Academy teams participate in the United Development League.
Congaree Rapid FC - January 1, 2015
The Congaree Rapid Soccer Association is proud to announce the rebranding of our club effective January 1, 2015 to Congaree Rapid FC (CRFC). The decision to rename the club was made via unanimous vote of the CRSA Board of Directors at the November 2014 monthly meeting.
Founded in 1993 to provide the Downtown Columbia and Cayce/West Columbia communities with a true soccer alternative, Congaree Rapid FC, is a 501(c)(3) organization which serves more than 500 boys/girls ages 4-18.
For more information on Congaree Rapid FC, please visit www.congareerapid.com.