Hayward United are an exciting amateur club based in Wisconsin and a founding member of the WPASL. We spoke with them about their history and their exciting future.
When and how were you founded? What leagues have/do you compete in?
Until 2018, Hayward’s adult soccer scene has basically included pick up games on Sundays, with the occasional game against Rice Lake or Washburn. Kaden Bergman, our team’s manager, worked up enough interest to start a competitive amateur men’s team, so we threw a team together and joined the Duluth Amateur Soccer League in 2018. About half of our team was from Hayward, and the other half were players from all over Northern Wisconsin and Minnesota. This led to an interesting season, as we had little to no chemistry, we were using Hayward High School’s original jerseys from 2001, we had next to no home games, and the other DASL teams had been playing together for 10-15 years. We had some great competition, and many games were very close (all but one within two goals),, but we ended up with a 2-4-2 record in the DASL. In 2019, we will be departing from the DASL to compete in the newly formed Wisconsin Primary Amateur Soccer League (WPASL). The new league will have some higher-level teams compared to the DASL and you will see a new look from our team, as we will have almost solely Hayward players. The other half of our team has created their own team and will be playing as Hibbing United in the DASL. We are very excited to get started on the 2019, we have 10 home games on the schedule so far, and soccer fans will get to watch years of the best of Hayward’s players coming together to compete.
What are the key elements of your badge and what do they mean to the club?
Our Hayward United crest was created by JP Dijuardin, who took inspiration from French side LOSC’s crest, as they are the team from his hometown. Our Wolfpack adult logo is slightly different from the youth logo, as we have three wolf heads, in place of two, and we have our high school’s logo instead of a soccer ball on the top-left corner. Our colors, black and yellow, were chosen because they match the colors of our high school. We really believe that our crest is quite unique and one of the better looking ones in lower-league soccer. Our club is getting new uniforms for the 2019 season, and we are really proud of the look we have come up with. It is quite unique to our club, and we know that if we aren’t getting the results we want on the pitch, we will at least look good while trying!
What is your club short and long-term goals?
Our short term goals are to create a stable soccer landscape in Northwestern Wisconsin and in Hayward. We hope to spread awareness of our team and league throughout the area, and our mission is to create a club that shows soccer can thrive in Wisconsin, even in a town of 2,000 people. Our long-term goals are to continue to allow players from our town to gain exposure and experience from playing other higher-level amateur teams. The vision is to have a team which the U6, U8, U10 players look up to and aspire to be on someday. This will help our club to grow and will help soccer to continue to expand in Northwestern Wisconsin.
Who have been your most prolific or important players in recent seasons?
We have had a couple of really great players competing for our team 2018 and looking forward to 2019. Our top scorer from 2018, Kaden Bergman, will be returning to the squad in 2019. He finished with 7 goals last year, and had a decent year at Viterbo University. We look for him to keep the center of the field under control and to be in the running for top scorer in the league. The next two leading scorers from last year will unfortunately be playing for Hibbing United in the DASL in 2019, but we have some great players coming in for 2019. Jacob Johnson is a quick forward who has a knack for scoring, and fresh out of high school, 1st team all-conference selection Owen Quast will run the midfield for the Pack. A couple other additions are college-aged players Ethan Wolfe, Marshall Kennell, and Gabe Winchester, who all had accolades in their youth careers. Holding down the back will be Brendin Rogers, Sebastian Paczuski, and Dylan Winchester, all defenders who have good experience and stand out on the pitch. We will also look for our star goalkeeper Cole Bergman to have a strong year. Cole has kept us in a lot of games, and we expect that he will have another strong season in 2019.
Lower league soccer is full of clubs that want to grow large brands and take on the spotlight, but also full of clubs that are only focused the pitch. How does Hayward fit into that comparison?
As a club, we are trying to create a brand that is recognizable throughout the soccer community. We come from very humble roots, as we are in a sparsely soccer populated area and our town’s population is only about 2,000 people, but we are making strides to get our name and goals known. We are most focused on growing soccer in our community, but we also hope to give our top players the opportunity to play against other players of their same caliber. Joining the WPASL this year is a step in the right direction, as the league has some high-end players and will give our top players an opportunity to pay against NPSL and UPSL caliber teams.