Kicking It With Our New Director of Soccer, Alexis Vizarelis

Aug 31, 2023

Fields & Futures Alexis Vizarelis Introduction Interview Feature Image

If you’ve been around Fields & Futures long enough, you know how much we love the game of soccer. Some people might even call us fanatical, but we know they’re really just mispronouncing “passionate.” 

Soccer is a global game, and we recognize there’s a huge opportunity to keep growing the sport in Oklahoma City Public Schools. That’s why we are beyond excited to introduce you to the newest Fields & Futures team member, Alexis Vizarelis. 

As Director of Soccer & Youth Sports Advocate, Alexis will team up with OKCPS Athletics and other community partners to help strengthen and grow the soccer pathway now established from the OKCPS YMCA 3rd-4th grade league, OKC Police Athletic League 5th-6th grade league, and district 7th-12th grade secondary sports.

Prior to taking on his role at Fields & Futures, Alexis served as Director of Goalkeeping for Oklahoma Energy FC, Goalkeeper Coach for OKC Energy FC and the University of Oklahoma women’s soccer team, and as an assistant coach of the men’s and women’s teams at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (USAO).

As a player, Vizarelis is one of the most decorated goalkeepers in USAO’s history, where he notched 21 clean sheets and was inducted into the Drover’s Hall of Fame in 2006.

It’s easy to see why we think Alexis is a keeper.

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What is your name and title at Fields & Futures?

I’m Alexis Vizarelis, and my title at Fields & Futures is Director of Soccer and Youth Sports Advocate.

Explain your roles and responsibilities in those positions.

In my role as Director of Soccer, I am responsible for impacting as many OKCPS students as possible through the beautiful game of soccer while increasing the district’s participation rates and level of competitiveness. As Youth Sports Advocate, I will assist OKCPS Athletics in providing student-athletes with the resources and support needed to thrive in sports.

Give us a brief history of your career path or previous experiences that led to this position at Fields & Futures.

Coaching has been my life for over 20 years, and the game of soccer has given me so many opportunities. Having coached at nearly every stage in Oklahoma — from youth soccer (Oklahoma Energy FC) to college (University of Oklahoma and USAO) to professional (OKC Energy FC) — I’ve met people, traveled, and tested myself on so many different levels. This experience has given me the ambition to ensure every child who wants to learn and thrive in the game has the opportunity and resources to do so.

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What are your immediate goals or objectives as Director of Soccer & Youth Sports Advocate?

My primary goal is to create a clear pathway that gives kids the tools to continue playing soccer through high school graduation whilst learning valuable life lessons along the way.

I want the pathway that keeps kids involved in soccer through high school to carry them to college and beyond.

What are your long-term goals or objectives as Director of Soccer & Youth Sports Advocate?

Long-term, I want the pathway that keeps kids involved in soccer through high school to carry them to college and beyond. From athletic scholarships to college degrees to careers, my objective is for all OKCPS soccer players to see what is achievable through the game of soccer. 

How important are sports in the development of a young person? Why do you feel this way?

Sports play a crucial role in youth development because the highs and lows of competition teach kids how to deal with the wins, losses, and setbacks they’ll encounter during life’s journey.

Fields & Futures’s mission is to help underserved kids and communities realize their purpose and potential by creating more opportunities to play team sports. Why do you believe in this mission?

The reason I believe in the Fields & Futures mission is pretty simple: children are our future. If we can give them the right tools, we’ll get to watch them flourish.

It’s up to us to create an infrastructure of love, opportunity, and accountability.

Fields & Futures has built 67 outdoor fields, tracks, and courts since 2012. Now that the fields have been built, how can we ensure there are teams to use them?

With a solid foundation of fields and facilities firmly in place, it’s up to us to create an infrastructure of love, opportunity, and accountability that makes kids feel safe and supported when they join a team.

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As Director of Soccer, do you see any opportunities to attract or engage new donor bases or program partners?

Yes, I definitely see opportunities to introduce more people to all the ways Fields & Futures impacts underserved kids and communities. Soccer has a global audience and resonates with people of all backgrounds, and so many great people in Oklahoma want to contribute and be a part of that. Whether their lives have been impacted by soccer or not, they understand the roles that the game and great mentors play in the development of young people.

As Youth Sports Advocate, do you see any opportunities to attract or engage students in new or exciting ways?

Absolutely. The game of soccer is constantly evolving, and thanks to traditional and emerging media channels, exposure to the game has never been better. I also see an opportunity to use my multicultural upbringing (half English and half Greek) to relate to a diverse OKCPS student population and advocate for their unique needs.

I want to see generational impact.

In the future, when you step back and look at the impact you’ve had on Fields & Futures and the OKCPS community, what specific outcome would make you feel like your tenure was a success?

When I step back and look at everything we’ve accomplished at Fields & Futures, I want to see generational impact. Knowing that student-athletes used the resources and opportunities we provided to get an education, create a better life, and then pass it down to their families is what I would consider a success on my part.

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Cheering on Our Cheer Captain, Mandi Dotson

Mandi Dotson has been part of the Fields & Futures story since the very beginning, loyally and enthusiastically cheering for us through our biggest wins. Now, it's our turn to cheer on our resident cheer captain as she continues to grow the sport in her role as Director of Cheer & Youth Sports Advocate.

A Spring In Our Step: OKCPS Spring Sports Clinics

With spring sports in the air, Fields & Futures sprang into action to host a series of spring sports clinics for OKCPS athletes and coaches. This March featured three key events: the Spring Break Goalkeeper Clinic, the OKCPS Golf Coaches Clinic, and the Simon Greiner Program Field Events Clinic.

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Fields & Futures