Gulls FC Founder and President Ben Barene steps away

The Grays Harbor Gulls Football Club announced on Monday that founder and President Ben Barene has stepped away, five years after founding the local team.

According to the club, Barene has moved away from the area and will be turning over the reins.  

“This has been an amazing experience, to give this club to the community. The growth we have seen during the last few years has been rapid and I owe it all to this community and those who have helped me along the way. We wanted our own way to give back to the community and I couldn’t imagine a better way to do it.”

General Manager Eddie Roosa will be taking over as President of the Gulls, which the team says has become one of the longest lasting semi-professional or professional teams in the county.

The team was a founding member of the Western Washington Premier League, now the Cascadia Premier League, after outgrowing state lines.

Roosa will continue the local club along with head coach Drew Grannemann, who has been with the local team since it was founded in 2018 by Aberdeen brothers Ben and Alex Barene

Said Roosa of taking on the new role, “It truly is an honor to have been nominated by Ben. This is a position I will not take lightly. He has created something special here and we will continue to grow.”

“I’m excited to get to work with Eddie, I believe in his vision for the club and I know he’ll do well as the voice of the club moving forward,” said Grannemann.

In his exit, Barene gave special thanks to Grannemann for his contributions.

“Drew has been with us every step of the way, and his efforts on and off the field are greatly appreciated. I can’t imagine how this club would be if we didn’t have Drew at the helm.”

Grannemann echoed the praises, saying “I’d like to thank Ben for his years of incredible work. Turning this idea of a Grays Harbor club into something real and something great.”

The addition of the Gulls FC youth academy last Fall gives youth soccer players the first competitive youth program in the county. 

Barene said this would not have been possible without youth director Daniel Langer.

“We always had a goal of adding a women’s team and a youth academy to make this a complete club and give the same opportunity to everyone. When Daniel got here, he blew me away with his drive and his passion for community and he got this youth academy off the ground and the women’s team is coming next.”

The Gulls will host tryouts for this season on February 28th at 6:30 pm at Stewart Field in Aberdeen. 

The 2023 Cascadia Premier League season will start in April and run through July.