4Rec gears up for youth spring soccer
As the last bits of snow melt away and spring begins, parks throughout the West Plains area will be filled with the sound of laughter and cheers.
4Rec Youth Sports, a coalition between Fairchild Air Force Base, Cheney, Medical Lake and Airway Heights will begin their annual youth spring soccer program in April.
Airway Heights Parks, Recreation and Community Services supervisor Andy Gardner said once kids are registered, they are placed into teams. According to Gardner, 650-700 kids registered last year.
There are four leagues for different age groups: 5-6, 7-8, 9-10 and 11-12. Cheney also runs a league for 3-4 year olds.
“We had gotten so many requests for a 3-4 year-old division, I decided to incorporate it into our program,” Kim Best, Cheney Recreation supervisor, said.
Ashlee King, Medical Lakes Park and Recreation Director said the spring soccer program is popular in the city, along with the other spring sports.
The season will begin April 14 and will run until the end of May. Teams will practice two to three times a week in their own cities and play games on Saturday. Coaches will choose the places for their team’s practice.
“Some coaches will go to Sunset Elementary or Sunset Park,” Gardner said. “The bigger kids might need more open spaces. If coaches can find a patch of open space, we say ‘go for it.’”
Gardner explained that all of the coaches are volunteers who undergo a background check and training through the National Alliance for Youth Sports and the National Youth Sports Coaches Association.
“This provides them with training for training with kids, handling injuries and developing a coaching philosophy,” Gardner said.
Sal Tersei has been coaching youth soccer for “roughly” four years. He enjoys teaching kids about the game, especially athletes who have never played.
“Sports was a big part of my life growing up,” Tersei said. “It’s enjoyable seeing kids who never played before and giving them a positive environment to learn. It’s fun seeing them at the end of the season, especially when they are looking forward to next year.”
Best said the program gives kids a chance to work with other children with different skill sets.
“It’s a good way for kids to learn outside of the classroom and it’s a great way for them to be active,” Best said.
Registration date deadlines for youth soccer vary between the four communities. Anyone who is interested in signing up their child for the program can visit their city’s Parks and Recreation sites for more information.
Al Stover can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Links to the different city’s websites
Fairchild Air Force Base