Youth soccer ‘kicking off’ once again at YMCA

Published 8:47 am Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Editor’s Note: This column is written by Emory Smith, a YMCA staff member.

In the fall in south Georgia, we traditionally associate events with certain days of the week. We have Sunday church, Friday night high-school football and Monday Night Football. Some have Saturday at the lake while others have Saturday in the yard or garden. Another night that is becoming a great tradition for many families is “Thursday Evening Soccer at the Y.”

Beginning Thursday, Sept. 10, children from age 3 (“Little Kickers” Division) through age 14 (“Elite” Division) will begin playing in the YMCA fall soccer program. In addition to Little Kickers (ages 3-4) and Elite (ages 13-15), there will be Kickers (ages 5-6), Strikers (ages 7-9) and World Cup (ages 10-12) divisions.

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The great thing about the game of soccer is that players of many different levels of skill can blend together on one team. The YMCA will conduct a “Skills Assessment Day” on Saturday, Sept. 8, to evaluate each player’s ability and to see that the players are evenly divided among the teams according to their skill levels. This skills assessment process was so successful this past spring that there were more than 10 overtime matches.

Another unique aspect of YMCA soccer is parent involvement. Most every team is coached by parents and parents and grandparents (and aunts and uncles) are in the stands by the hundreds every game day. This creates a very fun and friendly atmosphere while allowing for good competition.

The “grand finale” of the soccer season will be the “Joe Crine Classic” on Nov. 17, with playoff and championship games.

Registration for YMCA soccer is going on now through Sept. 3. The price is $35 per child for YMCA members and $50 for non-members. Come by the YMCA for forms or more information, or call Jim Holton, youth sports director, at (229) 243-0508.

Remember, we have Sundays for church and Fridays for high school football, but Thursdays are now for YMCA soccer.

Emory Smith is a staff member at the Bainbridge-Decatur County YMCA. He can be reached at (229) 243-0508.