Monday, September 1, 2014

Youth soccer in Emo celebrating decade of success

Youth soccer is alive and well in Emo.
The 10th season of Emo Youth Soccer officially begins with registration nights March 4-6 from 6:30-8 p.m. upstairs in the Emo-La Vallee Arena.

Lori Shortreed, who jokingly referred to herself as the organization’s “co-ordinator and instigator,” said the sport has grown dramatically in the community throughout its first decade of existence.
“We had 95 kids, enough for two teams in each age group, in our first year and played at the Donald Young School soccer fields,” Shortreed recalled.
“Last year, we had 250 kids, enough for 22 teams, and now we’re playing at the newer soccer facility on Emo Road,” she noted.
“We have kids coming from all over the district, as far to the east as Crozier, as far north as Nestor Falls, and as far west as Stratton.”
Unlike Fort Frances Youth Soccer, which recently launched a desperate appeal for volunteer coaches, Shortreed said Emo Youth Soccer has a legion of supporters willing to give their time on the sidelines and the field.
“I can’t say we’re really struggling,” she remarked.
“Of course, we’re always looking to add coaches and referees,” she added. “But we have an awesome base of volunteers that make the program run year after year.
“We’ve got coaches who started when their kids were in [junior kindergarten] who have stuck with coaching for a number of years.
“We also utilize a lot of students, especially those who have gone through youth soccer,” she said.
Shortreed has been on board with Emo Youth Soccer since its inception, which was borne out of convenience.
“I had children in soccer in Fort Frances but I was running there four nights a week,” she explained.
“It got to be too much after two years. So I decided that Emo could probably support its own youth soccer program.
“We discussed the matter with the local recreation council and decided to start it.”
Shortreed is “pretty excited” about getting the next decade of youth soccer in Emo underway.
“We’re planning to get the kids some nice new soccer shirts with it being the 10th year,” she noted.
“We’re also looking at doing some other things.
“It’s a work in progress,” she admitted.
Shortreed also will be launching a Facebook page soon entitled “Emo Youth Soccer,” which will feature information such as schedules, weather cancellations, and other tidbits as warranted.

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