Ron Beaulac (center, yellow jacket) poses with former players
Last weekend, there was a surprise 75th birthday party for Ron Beaulac, which also served as a kind of history of the sport of soccer in Long Beach.
Beaulac started the first club soccer team in Long Beach in 1976, a club that competed in the Coast Soccer League. The next year, he started the Long Beach Stingers, a youth team he coached from nine year olds up through the high school level. Beaulac’s help in popularizing the sport was one of the reasons the Moore League added boys’ soccer in 1982, and several of the players from his Stingers team have become influential coaches around Southern California, including Wilson girls coach Dalton Kaufman, Millikan’s Johnny Carrol, Poly’s Ken Hodge, Jose Alamo and Chad Benson, Downey’s Dave Evans, and Beaulac’s son Cameron, who coached at Poly and is now the head coach at LBCC.
“It was a fun day,” said Cameron, who organized the surprise party at LBCC. “We’re all a little older now, but we played a game and had a good time reminiscing about the old days.”
The former players presented Beaulac with gifts, as well as letters from local club directors Mauricio Ingrassia (LBSU, Beach FC), Dave Sabet (FC Premier), and Mark Hervin (FC Long Beach).
Ingrassia coached at LBCC with Cameron Beaulac before taking the Long Beach State job, and had high praise for Ron in his letter.
“It was your passion and energy that was a catalyst for what we have today in the Great Long Beach soccer scene,” said Ingrassia. “It was because of the vision of people like yourself that our community now is respected as a soccer hotbed.”
After the gift-giving and game at LBCC, the group retreated to Cirivello’s for food and drinks. Most importantly, no injuries occurred at the game.