Rec. Department discusses development of soccer program
By Nick Nunn
On Jan. 31, the Morgan County Recreation Department (MCRD) held a town hall-style meeting to discuss the possible developments in the MCRD’s soccer program, which could lead to an increased level of community involvement.
Last year’s program involved 310 participants throughout the department’s age classes, which include micro soccer (four to five years) and leagues that span ages six to 13.
Discussion about the MCRD’s lack of a 13-14 soccer program turned quickly to the department’s relationship with the Madison Area Youth Soccer Association (MAYSA), whose program began with a 13-14 age group with very positive results.
Lance Alexander, director of the MCRD, mentioned the possibility of MAYSA and the MCRD “being under the same umbrella” in the future, which would, in turn, “give the community different options to play in different settings.”
Alexander later clarified his comments from the meeting by saying, “There is nothing in concrete yet, but there is information in the hands of MAYSA on how we might possibly make this work and we are working on it as we speak. The terms are many across the board but our goal in all of this is to make sure every child in Morgan County has a place to practice and play the game of soccer.”
MAYSA similarly states on their website, www.maysastorm.com, that their program, “has a close working relationship with the Recreation Department and coordinates the use of the soccer fields at Heritage Park and Dupree Track Field.”
Attendees heard about the department’s plans for training soccer coaches before the beginning of the season from Alexander, who stated, “We want our coaches to be better prepared when they step out on the field, so our kids learn the game properly and, in turn, have more fun as they grow in the sport.”
To achieve this goal, age-specific coaching clinics have been scheduled for the MCRD coaches.
Finally, the group considered the possibility of the department being able to build more soccer fields but decided that, at the present time, that project is not economically viable.
“We’ve just got to go to work and find monies through grants and fundraising to make it happen,” said Alexander. “I have no doubt that [it] can happen because, at the end of the day, we all want the same thing.”
Printed in the February 7, 2013 edition