Soccer program in northern Franklin County takes shape

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KINGFIELD — A fall soccer league for K-6 students in the MSAD 58 area will be starting September 7.

Organizers intend to run the Western Mountain Youth Soccer Association program for seven weeks, meeting once a week to teach basic soccer drills and play scrimmages. The focus, according to President Jim Logan, of Freeman Township, will be on developing skills and participating on a team, as well as getting a chance to play with children in the same general geographical area.

“It’s a great way to meet people,” Logan said, “and people you’re likely going to meet again down the road.”

It also will give kids without “functional knowledge” in soccer a chance to play with other children of a similar skill level. MSAD 58 has an extremely active school-operated soccer program at the high school level, and this new program will give a chance for younger students to hone their skills.

The program will be similar to the Farmington Recreation Department’s league, but more accessible to kids and parents living in Strong, Kingfield, Phillips, Avon, Eustis, Stratton and other northern Franklin County communities. The practice and game sessions will be held at Mt. Abram High School, with plans to possibly hold the events on Sunday.

The registration fee will be $25 per child, with a reduced rate for additional members of the family. Jerseys, usable from year to year, will also be sold at a near-cost charge. With current fuel prices, that fee may make the Western Mountain Youth Soccer Association program cheaper than other options simply by virtue of location.

The goal, according to the organizers is to make the program as affordable and accessible as possible. The region’s strong tradition of volunteerism will be called upon to help run the program, with high school soccer athletes filling the roles of coaches and officials. In addition to Logan, some of the other organizers include soccer coaches Mark Lopez, Marc Keller, Monica Hedstrom and Darren Allen.

“The bottom line is to get kids out there, playing,” Lopez said.

The age groupings will be kindergarten, grades 1 through 3 and grades 4 through 6. Kids can register on the first day of school.

In the short term, the Western Mountain Youth Soccer Association is eager to gage interest in the program, as they begin lining up equipment orders, interviewing coaches and officials and getting fields ready. Those who think they might be interested are being urged to contact the organization atsoccerforkids@tds.net or by mail at WMYSA, P. O. Box 188, Strong, Maine, 04983. This is simply a survey, with official registrations beginning in the fall.

In addition to interest, organizers want to hear if Sunday or Saturday is a more convenient day to hold the events. The current plan is to operate on Sundays, with kindergarten and Grades 1-3 playing from 12:30-1:30 and grades 4-6 playing from 2:00-3:00 p.m. However, the organizers want your thoughts about having the program on Saturdays from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m.

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