Team of the Month: Bainbridge Island Blues
Division: 0-40 D-4
Manager: Doug Schmidt

GSSL: How was your team formed, and how long has it been in the GSSL?

The Bainbridge Island Blues were formed in 1974 (same year as the Sounders!) by a group of local soccer enthusiasts.  There were not a lot of opportunities for competitive matches in those days, so they joined the Washington State Soccer League (which became the GSSL later) and we have been in the league continuously since then.  Several of these founders are still around and some still play occasionally.  The Blues were the first team in the GSSL to have a female player (everybody in over-40’s knows Linda Yasutake) over 11 years ago, and she has been with the team continuously since then.

 GSSL: How did you name your team?

It was a joke at first.  The team always wore white jerseys, and so they thought it would be funny to be named, “The Blues”.  Eventually (many years ago), we switched to blue as our primary jersey colors and keep white as our alternate.

 GSSL: Does your team have any main rivals?

Not really.  In the past, there was an inter-island rivalry with the Red Zingers, but we have not been in the same age division for many years and in fact, many older players from both teams join together to form Bainbridge United (O-60).  Actually, we now have an annual Blues-Zingers game and social gathering during the summer break.  15 years ago, that would have been unfathomable.

GSSL: Why do you choose to play in the GSSL? 

The GSSL is hands-down the best adult soccer league in the country.  Because of the size of the league and its organization, a team can “grow old in soccer” together if they so choose (as we have for the last 15 years or so), moving up and down in divisions of play according to our team’s composition and current skill levels.  We love the league, and several of us have GSSL tattoos over our hearts.  OK, I lied about that, but I’ve often thought about it. 

GSSL: What are your goals as a team?

These days, having everyone walk off the pitch relatively intact, having played our best and making the ferry on time…with opportunity for an adult beverage or two is a lofty goal.  Most weeks we manage to accomplish one or two of those goals.  Of course, we prefer to win every week but it seems a good game is more important than a “W” these days. 

GSSL: Fill in the blank: The best thing about playing for your team is?

I would say that the best thing about playing for the Bainbridge Island Blues is the friendship and close relationships I have developed over the years with members past and present.  We spend a lot of time together on and off the pitch, at parties, Sounders games, community events, riding the ferry to and from Seattle etc.  Bainbridge Island has a strong and thriving soccer culture and it is an honor to be part of it. 

The Bainbridge Island Blues logo was created by the late Jim Williamson, may he rest in peace.


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