Numbers swell in High Prairie’s minor soccer program

Time to get on the ball! Players in the youngest age group warm up. Left-right, are Simon Marocchi, 5, Jaymeson Chalifoux, 3, Karma Kachuk, 3, Keanu van den Berg, 4, Oakley Martin, 3, and Shanel Jones, 4.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

High Prairie minor soccer kicked off another season with almost twice the number of players compared to last season.

The High Prairie and District Minor Soccer Association opened play April 29 with action Monday and Wednesday nights at St. Andrew’s School field until June 19 when the association also plans a wrap-up night.

“We have almost 200 players from ages three to 13,” president Alice Cristobal Salon says.

“We have a significant increase in registration and interest in playing soccer.”

Last year, the co-ed soccer association had 108 players registered.

Interest and growth began last year, she says.

“We started to join some tournaments in Donnelly and Valleyview, which showed a lot of positive reviews from parents and the community,” Cristobal Salon says.

“The soccer club is moving forward to better soccer (with) more involvement and tournaments.”

The U13 team will play in a mini-tournament May 11 in Donnelly.

Tournaments for U9 to U13 are also planned at Slave Lake, Valleyview, Peace River and Donnelly but no dates have been set by May 3.

The season wrap-up will include hotdogs, fruit and cake and players will receive medals and soccer balls in appreciation for participating.

With the growing number of players, the association also seeks more volunteers.

“We need everyone’s help to make it more fun for our kids,” Cristobal Salon says.

“Please, we need more coaches and more volunteers to help with setting up and taking down,” she adds.

Overall, they are grateful for the community support.

“Thank you for all the continued support and help for the club,” Cristobal Salon says.

“The kids are having a blast on the field.”

High Prairie Minor Soccer began its season April 29. in the photo (left), Ibrahim Saeed, 5, centre right, kicks a ball in a drill to warm up as coach Jessie Martin, right, looks on. Behind the kicker are Ruth Petersen, 5, centre left, and Sophie Perry, 5, left.

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