Another minor soccer season has started, and Lee Hand—President of the South Cariboo Minor Soccer Association (SCMSA)—is thrilled with the turnout: more than 250 players on 26 different teams.
“We’re up three teams in each division since we took over three years ago,” she says, and since last season the number of U10 and U13 teams has increased. One of the changes the SCMSA made was to end the soccer season in June, rather than take a break over the summer and come back for part of September.
“We took a consensus and found that parents were more than happy for the season to end in June,” she says, noting that with school starting back up and hockey season about to start, soccer in September wasn’t what people wanted. “Everyone is happy with the change.”
The teams come from Ashcroft, Cache Creek, Clinton, Logan Lake, and Lillooet, and all are sponsored by local businesses except for the Logan Lake green team in the U10 category. “Parents came together and pooled their money to buy shirts for the team,” says Hand.
The five Lillooet teams—two U10, two U13, and one U16—are sponsored by Lillooet’s Just Do It Sports. U7 teams are sponsored by J.D. Flagging, Kal-Tire, Cache Creek Veterinary Hospital, Clinton Home Hardware Building Centre, People’s Drug Mart, Logan Lake Highland Valley Copper Foods, and Logan Lake Country Café, while U10 teams are sponsored by Cache Creek Dairy Queen, Cache Creek Subway, Graymont, Cache Creek A&W, and the Steelworkers.
Sponsors for the U13 teams are Interior Savings, Second Time Around, Ashcroft Irly Building Centre, Ashcroft Safety Mart, Logan Lake District, and Logan Lake Drillwall, with the U16 teams sponsored by CUPE and the Ashcroft River Inn.
The teams are all at their maximum for this season, but Hand says they’re always willing to take kids. “We don’t like to turn people away, and we’d rather have them play than to play.”
The U10 and U16 teams play on Monday nights at 6:00, while the U7 and U13 teams hit the pitch on Wednesdays. The season kicked off on a windy and chilly night on April 5 at the Ashcroft soccer fields, with Subway defeating A&W 6–1 and Dairy Queen beating Graymont 7–3 in the U10 category. In U16 play, CUPE defeated Lillooet 4–1, then went down to the River Inn in a close 2–1 match.
On April 6 Interior Savings bested Safety Mart 4–1 and Second Time Around was blanked 6–0 by Ashcroft Irly in U13 play. No score is kept in the U7 matches, where the emphasis is on fun and learning. J.D. Flagging, Kal-Tire, People’s Drug Mart, and Cache Creek Veterinary Hospital all saw action.
A large number of parents, friends, and family members were on hand to watch the matches last Wednesday. Hand says it’s nice to see the community out in support of the players. “The people who live around the fields like to see and hear the kids out there.”