Photo by Andrew Ottoson
The Grangeville Youth Soccer teams for the most part carried the run of play during the Oct. 1 season finale against their Cottonwood counterparts, but if the Mountain View School District board votes to establish a varsity soccer team at GHS, a cooperative may become possible.
As of Wednesday, October 15, 2014
GRANGEVILLE — At the upcoming Mountain View School District 244 board meeting Grangeville Youth Soccer organizers — a group of seven families strongly committed to the local program for ages kindergarten through sixth grade — will ask the board to consider launching a fall varsity girls soccer team. At the regular monthly meeting to be held at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 20, at the district office, organizers plan to make their case.
Beyond noting the positive effects participating in organized athletics can have for kids in Free Press interviews, the youth soccer organizers described their group’s years-long commitment to the local programs they have made available for younger players each fall and spring.
“Grangeville Youth Soccer has been going strong for many years,” Lorrie Asker said. “My son is a sophomore now, but he has been playing since kindergarten.”
During the co-ed K-6 season that concluded Oct. 8 at Lions Park, Grangeville’s program turned out 100 soccer players.
Grangeville fall youth participation included 78 players, co-ed, in 2013 — and organizers see growing interest in the program. The spring program, which is held in conjunction with Lewiston clubs, turned out 57 players whose parents provided transportation.
But there is currently no opportunity for these kids to continue with soccer in high school.
If the board approves a team for 2015 — and the deadline for that would be this November — Grangeville’s established girls varsity teams would likely see increased competition for players, as many of those who now matriculate to the volleyball and cross-country teams also played youth soccer.
Some who come up through the soccer program do not go on to join the established high school teams, and Asker sees potential for those girls to continue in organized athletics if a varsity soccer team were available.
Organizers believe 14 girls currently grades 8-11 would turn out for soccer, allowing GHS to field a competitive team.
A sample schedule might include every other year round trips to McCall, Coeur d’Alene Charter, Bonners Ferry, Payette, Timberlake, Priest Lake, Kellogg/Wallace and a district tournament site.
The organizers’ most recent draft estimate puts start-up cost at a bit less than $4,000 with annual costs of about $8,000.
The local prospective coaching pool includes experienced soccer players, notably Grangeville Youth Soccer volunteer John Cuffe.
Statistically, teenage girls who play high school sports are less likely to use drugs, drop out or get pregnant.
“My daughter loves soccer,” Asker said. “That’s my impetus for asking...and if you have activities for youth, it keeps them out of trouble.