The Oly Town Artesians are the new focus for Ryan Perkins, Matthew Herrera and Jason Smith as the club formally announces change in ownership on the cusp of the first Western Indoor Soccer League (WISL) season since the pandemic canceled the women’s inaugural indoor season in early 2020. The club offers both women’s and men’s WISL and Outdoor Premier League adult competition. Oly Town teams are comprised of NCAA players, transitioning professionals, and former collegiate athletes in a high level, competitive atmosphere. The Oly Town Artesians were one of the first to offer semi-professional soccer in the region, with the former Tumwater Pioneers’ inaugural season in 2014.
“There have been Artesians Players that have played for professional teams, including the Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders, Tacoma Stars and clubs overseas. Most come back for alumni games and exhibitions that we host for the community,” said Matt Herrera, part-owner of the Artesians. Herrera was part of the Oly Town club as a player, coach and director before he eventually stepped into his new ownership role.
From a strategic leadership perspective, Ryan Perkins is excited to set new, refreshed goals to position the club for success. “We want to develop a program that promotes soccer excellence and inspires local youth. Ground up approach. Winning is our top priority and we want to do that in a way that creates a fun, fantastic atmosphere for fans too.” Perkins believes that the foundation laid by the club’s original founder (Brandon Sparks) and former managing partners (Tim Smith, Tom Boatright, Tom Arndt) was crucial to this region’s adult soccer development.
“For years, players had to travel to Seattle for competitive soccer outside the collegiate ranks. Now that opportunity is here, minutes away in Olympia with the Artesians” remarked Perkins.
Jason Smith, Varsity Head Soccer Coach at Shelton High School and youth soccer coach at Black Hills FC, is new to the club and brings a fresh outlook to the ownership team. Smith contributed to Oly Town as a Business Sponsor in 2021 (through his construction company, GGCW Renovations), but realized he had wanted to contribute on a greater scale this season, as an owner.
“I started playing soccer in the Thurston County youth programs 41 years ago. I played for Tumwater High School and later at Tacoma Community College. After high school and college I continued playing in many different adult leagues. Soccer in this community has been such a big part of my life; I’m excited for this opportunity with the Artesians where hopefully I can give something back.” – Jason Smith.
Matt Herrera, who oversees the North Thurston High School Soccer program knows the soccer community well with a considerable local history playing both high school, club, collegiate and competitive adult soccer. Herrera was named Pac-9 League MVP in 2005 representing North Thurston High School. Herrera created the annual Austin Kelley Tournament for local soccer players to come together to play and donate to Austin Kelley’s Family, specifically Austin’s daughter. He and St Martin’s Soccer legend Austin Kelley were best friends and played the inaugural Artesians’ squad together before Kelley’s untimely passing in 2017.
Ryan Perkins, former Artesians goalkeeper, General Manager, and Partnership Director, comes from a mixed soccer and football background. Perkins played high-level youth soccer, traveling with the Seattle Sounders to German Bundesliga ID Recruitments and the Olympic Development Program. Perkins eventually accepted a football scholarship to the University of Washington and was the starting kicker for the Huskies. Now, Ryan Perkins is a Sales Executive for global healthcare firm Halyard, where he is responsible for business strategy and development in 7 western states.
All owners agree that the “Win Together, Win Often” mission statement is balanced by their vision: To cultivate community soccer excellence through opportunity, training and growth.
The Western Indoor Soccer League kicks off the first week of November, with the Artesians Men’s team traveling to Snohomish November 6th. Artesians fans can expect the first home game at the Evergreen State College Pavilion on Saturday, November 20th!
The Oly Town women’s indoor team will have try-outs in early January to prepare for their WISL season which begins in February. Be on the lookout for schedule details this winter!
To learn more about the club and view game schedule, visit the Oly Town Artesians website.