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Opening day of Lincoln Youth Soccer is always a kick

More than 1,000 registered players took to the fields
By: Jim Linsdau News Messenger Sports Editor
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The temperatures were still a little warm this weekend, but the play was even warmer as the Lincoln Youth Soccer League held its opening day of the 2011 season, Saturday. Although the League has been growing each year, it leveled off this season with 1,069 eager players signing up to play. The teams are divided by age in two-year increments. Beginning with the 6-and-under, both girls and boys, Lincoln Youth Soccer goes all the way to 16U for girls. The younger ages are recreational, while the older divisions enter the select and competitive leagues. “Select and competitive is pretty much together,” said league president Eric Hart. “They travel all over the place in the Sacramento area.” Hart said the 8U and 6U teams 8U play strictly in the Lincoln area. There are 19 field locations to accommodate the 25-year-old organization. Lincoln Youth Soccer is in association with the Placer Youth Soccer League in which the select and competitive teams play. In the upper levels, teams from Lincoln are placed in divisions according to age and play teams from the surrounding Rocklin, Roseville, and Loomis areas. Hart said the younger teams play locally to better facilitate the development of the players. He said coaches are allowed on the field to assist the players. When players reach the 8U level they are introduced to having a referee officiate the game. As well as this organization has operated over half century, Hart said there was still a limited number of individuals who do most the work. With the exception of this year, Hart said the league has grown between 5 and 10 percent each year. “I would love to see more support from the parents to join our board and help out as volunteers,” said Hart. “About eight people do a majority of the work for the kids out there.” With more than 1,000 soccer players, those odds aren’t very good. However, a great deal of credit has to go to the Lincoln Youth Soccer League for the job it does each year. “I think the group we always struggle with is 6-and-under.” Hart said. He said many of the potential coaches are reluctant to work at that level. “We do things to entice (those coaches), and those who are really excited to coach. That’s always the big challenge every year.” The league’s website is lincolnsoccer.org.