As July enters its final two weeks, the summer youth sports season has mostly closed around Alex City as upcoming fall leagues begin fielding players.
One such league is the Alex City Youth Soccer League, which opened registration for its coed rec league teams earlier this month.
The ACYSL is hoping to build from a successful 2020 campaign that saw two of its All-Star teams win state championships, one at the 12U and one at the 10U level.
“We’re just hoping to get more kids to sign up,” Adam Young, vice president of the ACYSL, said. “Every year we’re hoping to increase the number of kids that come out to play.”
The league typically attracts between 150 and 200 players, he added.
COVID-19 drove down some of those participation numbers in 2020, but Young expects similar turnout to previous years in 2021.
For kids that may be on the fence about signing up or have never tried soccer before, Young feels the sport is a healthy one that’s playable for youngsters of all shapes and sizes.
“You don’t have to be the biggest kid. You don’t have to be the fastest kid to play,” Young said. “We’re coed, so it’s for girls and boys to play. They learn a lot of teamwork. We have a lot of kids who come out, and at first they say, the parents will say they’re not sure if they’re interested, they’re not sure if they’ll enjoy it. Then about halfway through the season, they’re out there, running around, having a good time.”
Young added that soccer is a good sport to try at least once as a child, even if you play other sports.
As the fall season winds down, the ACYSL will select its All-Star rosters from the league to compete for a state parks and rec championship, fielding an 8U, 10U and 12U team.
They can only hope to collect the success last year’s squads did, as the 8U team finished runner-up to go alongside 10U and 12U’s state titles in 2020.
Online registration is open at alexcitysoccer.com and in person Aug. 2 and 3 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the Alexander City Soccer Complex concession stand. Cost is $65 per participant and includes their team jersey.
Young added that the league welcomes a new president this season, as he and the rest of the board voted in Tabatha Rape to lead operations.