YMCA soccer opens for Selma youths

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

Soccer and Selma don’t sound like two words that go hand-in-hand.

That didn’t seem to matter much to more than 150 kids and their parents Tuesday night, however.

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Opening night ceremonies for the YMCA’s fall soccer season took place at the old softball complex, marking the beginning of another one of the alternatives the city gives to its budding athletes.

“Soccer isn’t a sport you think of being in any of the public schools,” said YMCA programs director Jamie Tellier. “But the kids have fun. They learn how to respect and treat each other and trust their teammates. I think it goes along with the YMCA’s motto, ‘Body, mind, spirit.'”

Kids in age groups of 3-4, 5-6, 7-9 and 10-14 will participate in leagues that will last until November 10.

After the eight-game regular season ends, Tellier said there will be mini tournaments.

Games will be played Tuesday and Thursday nights, and the younger kids were to begin their games immediately after opening ceremonies Tuesday.

Participation in the leagues spiked from last year. Although Tellier is really not sure why that is the case, he’s happy more kids are taking advantage of the opportunity to play.

“The numbers last year I think were between 115 and 120,” he said. “This year, we ended up with 160. I don’t know what happened, but it’s grown. I’m the only real staffer. The league works totally on volunteers. If we didn’t have the help of volunteers, the league wouldn’t even be possible.

“For kids in all age groups, we want them to get out there and have fun and showcase their talents.”