Youth soccer wrapping up this week

Bryce Forbes

Kids do always say the darnedest things.
When asked what his favourite part of playing Division 1 soccer was, six-year-old Darian Klem replied, “It skipped some of my time at home so I don’t have wait for my sister to get off the Wii.
“It’s boring waiting for her.”
Unfortunately for Klem, he might have to spend some time at home while his sister hogs the Wii since Saturday marks the end of another youth soccer season here.
But it won’t be the end of playing soccer for the young striker on the Coyotes, who he enthused he definitely wants to play again next year.
As for Peyton Avis, a six-year-old with the Wildcats, his most memorable moment playing youth soccer was subbing.
“I like staying off the field ’cause I’m too tired when I am on,” enthused Avis, who added he keeps playing soccer because it is fun.
This week signifies the finale of youth soccer, from the Squirts division all the way up to Division 5.
Division 1 held its wind-up Monday evening, with the Squirts closing out their season last night.
Inclement weather could not put a damper on the Division 1 wrap-up, although a few last-minute changes had to be made.
With the rain coming in the late afternoon, most of the teams were shorthanded. But they kept on playing by morphing similar colours into one team.
“We saw, in the last 15-20 minutes, a lot of people started to show up after the weather cleared, which is always nice,” said Sarah Gould, president of the Fort Frances Youth Soccer board of directors.
“The kids like to be recognized for working hard all year,” she noted.
“As it gets into the older age groups, it gets a little more competitive. [But] at this age, it’s nice that everyone is recognized in the same way by doing something like this.”
Each player was rewarded with a dog tag, as well as some sugary treats, before they headed home.
The Squirts’ wind-up was similar, with the kids receiving certificates instead of dog tags.
“I think, overall, the kids had lots of fun,” said Gould. “This was my second year coaching, so I really noticed the kids starting to care more about the game and connections being formed.
“That’s what it is really all about at this stage of their lives—having fun, playing soccer, being a part of a team,” she stressed.
This Saturday will mark the biggest finale, with Divisions 2 through 5 having their own celebration at the St. Francis pitches.
Divisions 4 and 5 currently are in a tournament-style playoff, with the final slated for Saturday after the barbecue.
Divisions 2 and 3, meanwhile, will participate in a round-robin tournament on the final day.
The barbecue runs from noon to around 2 p.m.
The FFYS also will hand out the annual Bryce Devoe Memorial Award on Saturday to a Division 5 player who best devotes leadership and dedication to the game of soccer.
Devoe passed away three years ago at the age 13 after being struck by lightning on the soccer field.