Youth soccer abounds in Adams

By Amy Boyer Thomas, soccer mom

If you drive by Biglerville’s Oakside Community Park on a Saturday in September or October, you’ll see dozens of young soccer players clad in gold on the soccer fields.  Families and friends fill the sidelines of the fields to support the children.

The events are sponsored by the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO), an organization founded in California in 1964. AYSO provides a fun, family-friendly environment for playing soccer.

In AYSO programs, all children play at least half of the time during games. There are no tryouts as all children are welcome.

Players on the Upper Adams teams range from 5 years old to 15 and over. Teams usually practice two times a week and play eight Saturday games during the fall season.

A small registration fee helps cover the cost of the uniform shirt and referees. Parents or guardians purchase cleats, shin guards, long black socks (to cover the shin guards), and black shorts.

Kids love playing soccer. “It’s fun; I get to be with my friends, and it’s fast and exciting,” said one participant. “I like being with my teammates and teamwork,” said another. One excited soccer player exclaimed, “I like everything about soccer!”

Parents like their children to participate in the sport because it helps with coordination, keeps them healthy and active, and teaches teamwork and discipline.

Many of the coaches played soccer when they were young and enjoy teaching children skills of the game. Coaches encourage their players to improve their skills through positive engagement. They want players to learn the basics of the game and continue to develop those skills during the season.

But mostly, the coaches want players to enjoy playing soccer.

Parents, families, and community members are involved in soccer in many ways. In addition to cheering on the children, volunteers are needed in various capacities such as coaching, lining and re-lining fields, and refereeing games.

Come out to Oakside Park to enjoy a soccer game! I look forward to seeing you there.

Featured image credit: Bruce Hollabaugh

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