Rockwall YMCA Youth Soccer focuses on more than the game

Soccer season at the J.E.R. Chilton YMCA sure has been a kick, but now all of the teams have to hang up their cleats until next season.

Coach Susie Leff said she was impressed this season by the positive and uplifting attitudes from parents and coaches as their young athletes improved their skills and had fun.

“I saw great coaching for everyone,” Leff said. “No yelling on the sidelines, just encouragement.”

Leff also noted the good sportsmanship displayed by all of the players.

“If a girl falls, another girl on the opposite team will stop the game to help her up,” Leff said. “There’s no screaming, just clapping and cheering on both sides for both teams. The spectators are in it just for the girls to have fun and that shows there is sportsmanship on the field.”

YMCA Coordinator Gina Lancaster said good sportsmanship is one of the core values that the staff strives to instill in all of the players of all sports.

“We stick to our values,” Lancaster said. “We have the kids say the YMCA pledge and say good luck to each other at each game.”

The YMCA pledge goes like this: “Win or lose, I pledge before God, to play the game as well as I know how; to obey the rules; to be a good sport at all times; and to improve myself in spirit, mind, and body.” Sports Director Bill Cadman said this reflects the ultimate goal of the Rockwall YMCA: to focus on children.

“The main thing we try to do here at the Y is put the child first, and the sport second,” Cadman said.

Leff said the soccer season scored because the kids were spending quality time forming friendships while they learned basic techniques.

“The girls are just out there to have fun,” Leff said. “These are all young girls who go to school in this area. Bill does a great job putting the teams together: they are playing alongside friends and against friends.”

The soccer season winners include:

U 5 Boys: Vikings & Sharks (Tie)

U 5 Girls: Unicorns

U 6 Boys: Super Strikers

U 6 Girls: Stingers

U 7 Boys: Red Devils

U 7 Girls: Pink Panthers

U 8-9 Boys: Stingers

U 8-9 Girls: Purple Storm

U 10-12 Boys: Lightning

For information and updates on the next season of soccer sign-ups and other youth sports at the J.E.R. Chilton YMCA, visit www.jerchiltonymca.org.

Story and photos by Julie Anne White, Blue Ribbon News reporter.

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