Forty years ago, Steve Oliver, as president and coach, introduced the first North Huntington Beach Futbol Club team to an up-and-coming California Youth Soccer Association-South (later to be known as Cal South). Since then, NHB FC has left its footprint on the Southern California soccer scene, on National youth soccer, and also on the lives and hearts of many. If there’s a consensus among its members, NHB FC can be best described as a unique, family-oriented club, and it all dates back to its foundation.
In 1981, George Mitton was asked to take over the club as President. Though hesitant in the beginning, his wife June persuaded him to take over the club. Thirty-six years later, there’s no looking back at the great successes that George and June Mitton helped build for future generations.
“I’m really proud of where we’ve come from and where we still are,” said current NHB President Shereen Walter. “I know that George Mitton left the club in our hands and that’s a huge responsibility and that’s a responsibility that I take pretty seriously. I think that he’d be proud of the successes that we’ve had and our standing in the community.”
From its humble beginnings, NHB FC has dedicated its resources into providing the best soccer possible to its local community, and after 40 years of service, it’s no wonder that every member, from players to coaches to parents, feel that NHB is the perfect place to be and always return to the place they call, “home.”
One of the many examples of this is NHB coach Hugo Casillas. Joining the team as a teenager in 1993, NHB was the club to be. Not only was Casillas inspired by his coach to stay with the club, but the unity and success that his team had over the years motivated him to pursue his lifetime dream of becoming a professional soccer player.
Thanks to Cal South’s top level competition and the support provided by NHB, Casillas was able to fulfill his dream, moving to Mexico to play with then-First Division teams UAG Tecos and Jaguares, as well as earning call-ups from the Mexican Youth National Teams. Now, Casillas is back at NHB to put his experience to use and pass on his knowledge to his Boys 2002 & 2003 teams as they look to put the club’s name up high in Southern California soccer.
“It’s amazing to be at NHB as a coach, as a player,” Casillas said. “I have loved it, enjoyed it and I can’t explain what it’s like to be coaching and being a player and belong to this club.”
“It’s unique, one club, a family, and I just know that NHB keeps growing and that’s the idea, to have the club grow,” he added.
From 1977 to today, NHB has done nothing but grow as a club, family and community. With its focus and emphasis on coach and player development, hundreds of former players have benefitted from being part of a cultivating unique club and family.
“What makes the club special is that we’re celebrating 40 years,” the club president said. “There aren’t many clubs that are around today who can say that they’ve existed for 40 years.”
“I want all youth soccer people to remember that it really is about the kids and their love of the game and growth in the game and I hope that we all remember that. NHB definitely remembers that and I think that’s one of the most important things,” Walter finalized.