Soccer numbers soar above last year’s
By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
Participation numbers are the highest they’ve ever been in Imperial’s spring soccer program.
Bruce Peterson, who is coordinating the city’s soccer program, said registrations have hit 250. Those youths are playing on 26 teams.
That compares to 218 youths in the program last season, or about a 14 percent increase.
Games will begin Saturday, April 4, but before then, area residents will be seeing a lot of practices going on at Schroeder Park. That’s where the 22 teams, fifth grade and younger, will be playing all of their matches this season.
In addition, Imperial has four teams in the traveling Great Plains Soccer Association—two U-14 (grades 6-8) teams and two in the U-19 division (high school).
Peterson said it’s the first time Imperial has put together two high school soccer teams; they’ve fielded one in past years.
Equipment was distributed Monday night this week, and Peterson said practices could start as early as Tuesday.
Due to the number of teams and just four playing fields at Schroeder, Peterson has scheduled set times for team practices.
Games on Saturdays that start April 4 and run through May 2 will be at 9, 10 and 11 a.m.
Here’s the breakdown of the younger team numbers: 10 U-6 teams (pre-K and kindergarten), six U-9 teams (grades 1-2) and six U-12 teams (grades 3-5).
The older U-14 and U-19 teams will compete this season with teams from Sidney, Alliance, Ogallala, Perkins County and possible Garden County.
Peterson hasn’t received schedules yet from the Great Plains Soccer Association, but said the U-14 teams will play on Saturdays and the U-19 teams on Monday nights, all at the Wellington football field.