Sunnyside’s youth soccer program did not have a season last year because of a lack of volunteers, according to Lower Yakima Valley Youth Soccer Association President Tyler Everett.
The association was formed approximately four decades ago, providing youngsters in the Lower Yakima Valley with soccer programs in the spring and fall.
“Sunnyside has struggled in the past couple of seasons,” said Everett.
He said there were more than 300 Sunnyside youngsters participating in the program a couple of years ago. Last year youngsters registered, but there weren’t enough parent coaches to host a season.
Jory Anderson, a local chiropractor, has stepped in to organize a new board.
With a new board in place and 111 youngsters already registered for the program “…there’s no reason we can’t field teams,” Everett said.
“What we need are volunteer coaches.”
Everett said the commitment is not too time consuming. Some parents team up to co-coach to account for scheduling demands.
In the younger age groups, for example, he said practices are scheduled one night each week for six weeks. Games take place on Thursday evenings.
There is a limit to the number of players who can be on a team. For teams under the age of 11, there is a maximum of eight players. For 11 and up, there is a limit of 15 players.
“The real struggle has been finding coaches for the younger age groups,” said Everett.
He said the U11 age group needed one more coach last year to field two teams.
“Coaches set their own schedule,” Everett said, stating the commitment is to provide youngsters with the opportunity to play the game.
Volunteers and athletes can register for the coming season tonight (May 27), at Sunnyside Christian Elementary School at 6:30 p.m.
For those who cannot make it to registration, there is an option to register online at www.lyvysa.org.
The registration cost is $40 per player.
Parents who volunteer for the fall and spring seasons will be refunded the registration fee for one player.
“It’s an opportunity to create memories with your children,” said Everett.