YMCA kicks off fall soccer

Published 9:39 am Monday, September 19, 2016

Children enjoying the first soccer game of the fall season at the YMCA on Saturday, Sept. 17.(Photo by Steven Calhoun)

Children enjoying the first soccer game of the fall season at the YMCA on Saturday, Sept. 17.(Photo by Steven Calhoun)


The YMCA of Chilton County held a kickoff for the fall youth soccer league on Saturday, Sept. 17.

A crowd had already gathered by 8:30 a.m. as the players lined up for a parade around the field. Parents lined the boundaries of the play area and looked on their children with pride as the opening ceremony began.

The crowd heard a warm welcome from Josh Elmore, head of the American Youth Soccer Organization at the Chilton County YMCA, followed by a word from the YMCA’s director, Lori Patterson.

The ceremony continued with the playing of the Star Spangled Banner and a prayer from local minister Kenny Martin.

Then, Patterson thanked the City of Clanton and the City Council, many of whom were in attendance at the event. She invited them to stand with her as Mayor Billy Joe Driver made the inaugural kick of the season.

With the first kick made, the children ran off in their teams and started stretching and doing drills to prepare for the matches. Three separate fields were lined off for play, each for a different age group: under 6, under 8 and under 12. As the children grew, so did the size of their fields.

Parents cheered and coaches gave direction as the games went underway. One mother stood between the two fields for younger players, turning back and forth for brief views of each match.

Rebeccah Corley had a son on both of those fields Saturday. She said it is the fourth season one of her sons has played in the league, and it is her second year coaching a team.

“It’s important for kids to play a sport like this where they can learn to function as a team,” said Corley. “They learn their strengths and weaknesses and get plenty of exercise.”

Corley said it is good to have a variety of sports for children to choose from, and that it is one of the goals of the league to become bigger so more people can learn about soccer. She praised Elmore and said he has done an excellent job heading the league.

The AYSO soccer league at the YMCA will hold matches throughout this fall, and hopes to continue building teamwork and athleticism in its young participants.