MYSO ready to build on success of recent years
By By Ryan Satcher / staff writer
Aug. 1, 2002
The Meridian Youth Soccer Organization is getting ready to kick it's season into gear and hopes to continue the success it has experienced in recent years.
Last year, the number of kids participating in the soccer leagues increased dramatically. The number rose from about 740 players to 850 players in just one year.
Registration for the fall season started July 1 and will continue until August 15. The MYSO is hoping for the same kind of numbers to show up and participate again this year.
Some of the new interest can be attributed to the interest in soccer that is growing in the whole country.
All of the leagues play games on Saturdays.
A lot of the interest is coming in the younger age divisions. The Under-6 and Under-8 leagues account for a large portion of the soccer teams that compete. There are also about 10 U-10 boys' teams as well as five U-12 teams. There a few teams in each of the other boys leagues.
The girls' leagues have also shown success in the last few years especially in the older age groups. The girls Under-14 leagues had been lucky to have just one team in the past but lately there have been a couple of teams in the age group.
The girls get extra work in during the offseason by playing in MYSO leagues. The boys also get the extra experience that helps develop them into good high school soccer players.
Also, helping the success of area soccer is a new group of coaches. A lot of people who once played soccer in the area are now helping to coach. In the early years of Meridian soccer few coaches were involved because few people knew about the sport.
Not only has soccer in Meridian helped out the high school teams, but the MYSO teams have also done well in the state tournament. Last season, five teams made the state tournament. Four of those teams made the finals of the tournament and the Under-14 team won the state championship.
Four teams won gold medals in the State Games of Mississippi and the U-14, U-16 and U-19 teams also won the "Clash of the Champions."
The MYSO also provides kids with fun and safe soccer. All of the coaches are checked through the state office in a program headed by Smith that is called Kidsafe. The MYSO works with the state as well as the police to make sure all coaches are approved.
Also coaches now are required to get a license. The license teaches the coaches how to properly run practices so the kids learn more and have more fun.
The fall season is closing in with the season set to start Sept. 7. Another big event that will be coming up soon is the Rush Classic. The tournament will be held Oct. 19-20.
It will be the 10th anniversary of the event that is open to teams from all over.