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When he was younger, former professional soccer player Chris Scrofani trained with some of the best in the sport. Now, as vice president and general manager at the Williamsburg Indoor Sports Complex (WISC), he aims to provide a similar experience to other members of the community.
“I always took a liking to soccer,” said Scrofani. “I have an older brother who played. I would go to his games and kick the ball around on the sidelines, so I really developed a love for it.”
Scrofani, who also often watched the World Cup with his Italian father growing up, played soccer in high school and later in college at William & Mary. He went on to play professionally for the South Jersey Barons in New Jersey and for the Hampton Roads Mariners. One winter, he even trained in England with the professional team Crystal Palace.
“That was an incredible experience,” Scrofani said. “To really immerse myself with the English soccer league was really great.”
In 1997, Scrofani connected in Williamsburg with Chris Haywood, another well-known local soccer player, and the pair began discussing the possibility of opening an indoor soccer facility. Their dream became a reality in the summer of 2000 when WISC opened its doors.
WISC started out as a facility for indoor soccer as well as in-line hockey and today has grown into a multi-sports complex with scores of children and adults alike partaking in its programs and activities.
“Our goal has been to serve the needs of the community the best we can, and we feel we’ve helped fill a void,” Scrofani said.
In addition to soccer, WISC has programs in gymnastics, dance, and cheerleading. It also houses a fitness center, a preschool, a before and after school program, CrossFit Williamsburg, Tidewater Sharks Soccer Club, and The Zone, an indoor recreation area featuring laser tag, a clip n climb area, and an indoor playground. In early 2017, the WISC is also slated to open a 25-meter pool as well as a smaller, separate pool that will be utilized for swim lessons.
Scrofani meets weekly with his program directors to ensure programs are running smoothly. They currently have a staff that includes 25 full-time and 100 part-time employees.
“I have been very fortunate to be able to have worked with such great people for the past sixteen years,” Scrofani said. “I really enjoy coming to work every day.”
He remains active with soccer, coaching with the Tidewater Sharks Travel Soccer Club as well as with the First Touch Soccer Academy classes for children ages two to five.
“I really love the sport,” Scrofani said. “I love the constant movement, working hard, and there really is no better feeling than scoring a goal.”
Two years ago, the indoor soccer turf was remodeled and renamed Dumont Field in memory of Sgt. Paul Dumont Jr., a local Army soldier who was killed in Afghanistan in 2009 during Operation Enduring Freedom. Dumont had been an active participant at the WISC as a child, and had played on that field many times.
“It is such an honor to name the field after him,” Scrofani said.
Scrofani’s wife, Lydia, is also an avid soccer player and is the girls’ coaching director for the Tidewater Sharks. His seven-year-old daughter plays with the AP girls team for Tidewater Sharks, while his three-year-old son has also taken a liking to the sport.
Scrofani hopes to continue to grow the WISC, offering programs that will enhance the community, and is looking forward to the possibilities that the new pool will bring.
“I am glad that people enjoy the WISC and that we have been able to have such a positive impact on our community,” he said.
Read more profiles of local residents in WYDaily’s new section In Our Hometown.