100 Mile House &District Minor Soccer Association board president Julia Hendry says she was extremely happy with the way the season wrapped up.
Hundreds of minor soccer players took to the pitch at the Soccer Park and were excited about playing their games. There were smiles on the faces of the players, coaches and the board members.
Hendry notes the number of players was about the same as last year – around 330.
“We have very large numbers in the younger age groups in U5 to U8. There were the typical lower numbers in the older age groups.”
“We tend to lose a few as they get to the older age groups because they tend to have other things to take on, other activities and that sort of thing.”
She says the start of the new season was good with a great turnout and the weather co-operated.
“We had a good pool of referees. We can always use more, but we had enough for each tier.”
Hendry says coaches are always hard to get because it’s a huge commitment and the biggest need is in the youngest groups.
“The players are young and they’re new to soccer and some of the parents think they couldn’t coach because they don’t know a lot about what’s going on. Really, it’s pretty simple coaching soccer with a bunch of little kids.”
She adds that in the end, there was a good group of coaches.
Hendry says there were two 100 Mile House teams – U12 and U14 – in the Cariboo Youth Soccer League (CSYL), which sees teams from Prince George, Quesnel, Williams Lake and 100 Mile House competing against each other.
Both local teams were made up of girls and boys. Noting the CYSL U12 division is developmental and there is no scorekeeping involved, she says the U14 took the silver medal at the end of the season.
The spring season is over at the end of June, Hendry says the early session wasn’t affected by the wildfires.
However, the association board felt it had to cancel the fall season.
“When it was time to start up again in September, there was so much uncertainty. There were still areas and [soccer] families that were evacuated and people on alert.
She adds there are players and coaches from the whole area, including Lone Butte and Sheridan Lake.
“As an executive, we just felt it was the best decision to make.”
At the time, the air quality wasn’t very good either, she says, adding if we had an indoor facility, it wouldn’t have mattered.
“I know there’s a committee looking at [an indoor soccer facility] and we support it 100 per cent.”
As far as the wrap-up event goes, Hendry says it’s something they do every year, so they just followed the same format with games and a barbecue.
“We still wanted to have that for them. They would have missed out if we hadn’t done it at the end of the year, and we wanted them to have their barbecue and get their medals.”
The Knights of Columbus have been doing the barbecue for many years and the children get medals, she says.
“The U5 players get mini soccer balls from Tim Hortons. All of the players received team and individual photos.
“It’s all included in their registration fees.”
Anyone wanting more information about the league can Facebook 100milesoccer for a contact number, she explains.
“I just want to say a big thank-you to all of the volunteers.”