Looking for big numbers

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The City of Andalusia’s youth soccer program will hold registration from Aug. 1-15 at Johnson Park. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

City of Andalusia officials said they are looking for a big turn out this season as registration begins today for its youth soccer program.

Kids ages 4-15 from across Covington County are welcome into Andalusia’s youth soccer program, said Caitlin Shipman, City of Andalusia’s program coordinator of athletics.

Soccer registration will run from Aug. 1-15 at Johnson Park and cost is $35 for one child, $55 for two children and $75 for three or more children.

Shipman said since soccer has become a new sport at Andalusia High School, the participation numbers will increase this year compared to last year.

“Hopefully bringing high school soccer to our city will drive youth soccer participation even higher,” Shipman said. “We have to begin teaching children at an early age the fundamentals of this sport, just as do all of the others to prepare them for the high school level.”

Last year, there were a total of 349 participants in the soccer program, according to a report submitted by the city.

In 4-5 boys and girls, there were 111 players and 12 teams; in 6-7 boys and girls, there were 77 players and eight teams; in 8-9 boys and 8-10 girls, there were 95 players and nine teams; and in 10-15 co-ed, there were 44 players and four teams.

Shipman said there will be a large number of teams formed in this year’s soccer program if they exceed last year, and that volunteers will be needed.

“We have a large number of teams in soccer, so therefore it calls for a great deal of volunteer support through coaching,” she said. “Many people tend to shy away from coaching soccer because they feel they don’t understand the game.

“In this case, we have some things in place for those who are willing to volunteer their time to coach in this program,” she said.

Try outs will be held Aug. 20-21, at 6 p.m. for players age 8 and up.

Try outs will only rate the ability of players, and Shipman said every child will be placed on a team.

“You do not have to attend both nights,” she said. “Children will need soccer cleats and shin guards to participate.”

For more info or to find registration forms for players, coaches and officials, visit the city’s website at www.cityofandalusia.org, or like “Andalusia Dept. of Leisure Services” on Facebook.

“We are looking forward to a great youth soccer season, and we would like everyone to come out and join in on the excitement,” Shipman said.