In 1976, interested members of the Hampden Township community embarked on a mission to create a youth soccer organization. The Hampden Township Youth Soccer Association (HTYSA) began when the founding fathers, who had little or no soccer experience, saw the potential in a recreational soccer program. The program would eventually capture the heart and interest of youths and adults alike.
The first year, HTYSA had one soccer field and three teams (Boys U 12, Boys U 14 and Boys U 16). From the beginning, the emphasis was on sportsmanship, participation, playing by the rules and learning about soccer. Expansion occurred each year, with the addition of new age groups and a formal girls program in 1978. In 1979, an intramural program was available for all boys and girls, ages 8-18, and a spring soccer schedule was now available. Within seven years of initiation, HTYSA membership grew to more than 1,000 players and 200 adult volunteers, with boys and girls teams in six age groups utilizing fifteen soccer fields. By 1982, the Soccer Association had grown to 65 teams. HMMS had 135 teams and 1,900 players in 2010 ranging from 5-19 years of age.
The Soccer Association’s success was met with challenges. In 1982, the Human Relations Commission made a motion to disband the girl’s soccer program. The State contended that the formation of all teams should be based upon ability and should be enter into co-ed competition. Having successfully defended and preserved the girl’s soccer team program, HTYSA established a local regional girl’s soccer tournament. The First Annual Hampden Girls Soccer Tournament was held in the spring of 1983, with eighteen teams in three age groups. The tournament continued to expand, reaching 400 teams from seven states and Canada. The organization hosted the 29th and last Girl's annual tournament in May, 2011. In 2012 the Girl's Tournament was changed to a co-ed shootout format that drew teams from three different states and was played across two-days over the Memorial Day weekend. In 2013, HMMS will continue the new co-ed shootout format, and looks to double the number of teams participating.
Another challenge was the decision to merge all individual township soccer programs in the Cumberland Valley School District. The new organization, formed in 1992, became known as HMMS, or the Hampden, Monroe, Middlesex, Silver Spring Youth Soccer Association. This organization has served the community well, and continues to focus on the original mission defined by the founding fathers thirty two years ago.