Marathon makes large ­commitment to youth soccer with field renovation

Marathon makes large ­commitment to youth soccer with field renovation

Marathon makes large ­commitment to youth soccer with field renovation
Marathon facility general manager Austin Fontenot presented a $100,000 check to Diablo Valley FC board president Adrian Pena (to the right of Fontenot) last month at an afternoon ribbon-cutting ceremony as the Marathon Soccer Field renovation reached its conclusion. Diablo Valley FC 2011 girls Development Player League and 2011 boys MLX NEXT team players were part of the historic occasion. (Jay Bedecarré photo)

CONCORD, CA (Dec. 14, 2023) — Youth soccer in the area made its biggest advance for top-flight fields in over 20 years when Marathon Petroleum presented a $100,000 grant to Diablo Valley Futbol Club last month that helped fund redevelopment of the two soccer fields on the property near the North Concord border.

The local competitive soccer club for 1300 girls and boys ages 8-18 matched that grant to finance renovation of the fields off Highway 4. Before year’s end play will resume on the fields for the first time since last summer.

Marathon’s plant manager Austin Fontenot, a devoted soccer dad in his own right, presented the $100,000 check to DVFC board president Adrian Pena last month at an afternoon ribbon-cutting ceremony on the field with a backdrop of the firm’s renewable fuels plant. County Supervisor Ken Carlson, Concord Mayor Laura Hofmeister, other Concord councilmembers and representatives of local elected officials were on hand.

To make sure there was a connection to those who will be enjoying use of the fields, the club’s 2011 girls Development Player League and 2011 boys MLX NEXT teams were on hand. Fontenot quizzed and regaled the young players with stories about his favorite professional teams.


The last time Concord has seen such a major boon to the sport was when the Daniel E. Boatwright Youth Sports Complex adjacent to Cal State East Bay Concord Campus opened in the late 1990s.

The Marathon Fields opened in about 1994 when the refinery was owned by Tosco. The soccer fields and adjoining baseball diamond were built for plant employees’ recreational use. When the second Concord Cup youth tournament was held in May 1995 Tosco allowed play there for the first time.

Over the ensuring nearly three decades Diablo Valley FC (and its earlier iterations of Diablo Valley Soccer Club, Heritage Soccer Club, Diablo FC and Diablo Valley Wolves) have used the fields for training, games and tournaments.

Among several tournaments that will be played on the new fields in 2024 will be Concord Cup 29 on the May 18-19 weekend when over 100 teams come to Concord and will now have two first-class fields to enjoy.

Additional improvements

With its matching commitment to the Marathon grant, Diablo Valley FC has overseen the $200,000 project to install new Bermuda grass that will be ready for play this month. Delta Bluegrass did the resodding after repairs to the existing irrigation system.

To fully benefit the youth soccer community Marathon is also allowing the use of lights at the field, making evening play possible. Diablo Valley FC will initially have portable lighting after the first of the year as they fundraise for permanent lights.

The club affiliated with National AYSO as a region about a year ago in order to accommodate Elite teams from local AYSO regions Mt. Diablo, Concord AYSO and PHMSA to come under their umbrella. There are now 90 teams in the club for ages 8-18.

The club is no longer affiliated with English Premier League Wolverhampton Wanderers but has kept Wolves at their team mascot. Concord Toyota and Marathon are the club’s primary sponsors.

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Jay Bedecarré
Jay Bedecarré
Sports and Schools Editor at The Concord Clayton Pioneer | | Website

Jay Bedecarré is a long-time resident and writer in Concord and Clayton. He began his newspaper writing career while still a senior at Mt. Diablo High School and he has been part of The Pioneer since its inception in 2003. Jay also operates Bay Area Festivals, presenting events around the San Francisco Bay Area including Bay Area KidFest annually in Downtown Concord.