Whenever NHB FC teams arrive to a field for play, everyone knows who they are. Everyone can see them from a mile away sporting their neon green (or black) jerseys with the words “NHB” printed across the front of the jersey. Just like their jerseys haven’t changed since their inception, NHB’s dedication to their community remains.
To continue having a big role in their community and their membership, NHB has remained accessible for young players looking to play the beautiful game, as well as for former players looking to give back to the club that gave them so much.
Such is the case of Hugo Casillas, former player and current Boys 2002 & 2003 head coach. Casillas joined NHB in 1993 and later moved on to play professionally abroad. However, he returned to Southern California, more specifically to NHB, to continue to be a part of the club that he considers family.
“As a player, it’s amazing to represent NHB,” he said. “It’s unique, one club, a family together and I just know that NHB keeps growing and that’s the idea, to have the club grow
“It’s amazing to be at NHB as a coach, as a player. 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,” he added.
Just like Casillas, hundreds of other players have had a direct, positive impact during their time at NHB. For the past 20 years, NHB has continued to have a positive impact with its community. As part of their annual gathering, the club hosts NHB Night, an evening where all players, their parents and coaches gather to celebrate the new season, meet fellow NHB players, as well as praise the journey of several players through a college scholarship.
The George and June Mitton Scholarship is offered to those players that have played with NHB for the last three years, they must exhibit the same commitment to sportsmanship, athletics and academics. NHB President Shereen Walter
“We’ve been really fortunate to have some good players come through, they don’t necessarily have to go on to a four-year college, it can even be used for someone that wanted to go into community college or trade school,” Walter said.
“[Scholarship winners] get a chance to talk and tell what NHB’s meant to them, and that’s pretty powerful. One of our players this past year that received the award, she got her U9 jersey and put it on, and it still fit her, and she stood there and talked about what NHB meant to her and it was really powerful because she played with us from U9 all the way to U19 and was far deserving of that scholarship,” she added.
For 17-year NHB coach Francisco Flores, NHB Night and being a part of this club is something very special. He has seen many players come and go, but what he
“It’s a special moment when you are with a set of players from when they were little, all the way through and you see them about ready to take the next stage of their life, going off to college, for example,” he said.
“That’s always a special moment because you form a close bond with the players that are with the team for such a long time, you see them grow as people, they grow into young men and women, you’re excited to see what’s ahead of them and where they’re headed,” he added.
Over 40 years, NHB Futbol Club has not only developed elite soccer players, but great human beings through its core values and all those involved in the club, from the board of directors to players and their families, and it’s something that President Walter hopes to continue doing.
“We like to exhibit the morals that we like to see in our players and I think that makes us strong in our community,” the NHB President said. “I think we just continue to stay the course and continue to do what we do well.”