As the month of August is coming to a close and school is back into the full swing of things, it’s time for recreational sports to start back up.
The Oxford Park Commission’s fall soccer began on August 23 at FNC Park and will wrap up around October 6 depending on weather. Generally, about six to eight games are played, depending on the league.
“We are lucky enough to play at FNC park and the facilities that they have there,” OPC athletic programming soccer coordinator Jared Barkley said.
The park commission plays small-sided games so the U5 and U6 ages are four versus four, so that there will be eight players on the field at a time. U7 and U8 teams are five versus five, U10 are seven versus seven and U12 is nine versus nine in a soccer match.
“All of our teams are coached by volunteer parents and we do have a university student here and there that volunteer to coach,” Barkley said.
Throughout all the age groups, coaches instill fundamentals and drills to encourage the children to obtain or get back the ball.
“That’s going to be the comfort of the player with the ball,” Barkely said. “A lot of the times fans will hear parents yell to kick the ball as soon as they get it, but we want the player to be able to retain the ball to be able to score goals with it, since that is the name of the game.”
This year, OPC has around 680 kids signed up to play recreational soccer. Broken down, the majority of the teams are going to be in the U5 to U6 age group.
“Really what we are doing is offering the community a structured and safe environment to either introduce them to the sport or offer a way for them to develop and have a fun time doing that in a structured environment,” Barkley said.
Adam Brown is the sports editor for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.