By Lisa Pett
Portage County Youth Soccer is now accepting registrations for its summer Rec League.
The non-profit sports organization, which has been in existence for nearly 27 years, provides over 700 children annually with opportunities ranging from recreational summer leagues to Classic and Select travel teams.
The organization maintains its own fields and hosts six tournaments or events every year, including the Portage County Youth Soccer Classic event in June.
According to PCYS Board President Sarah Ceballos, the Summer Rec League is an important chance for families and kids new to the game to learn to play the sport in a fun, relaxed atmosphere. Teams are age-appropriate, starting with players as young as 4 and up to 18 years old.
“One of the greatest benefits of trying soccer is the limitation of equipment needs,” Ceballos said. “Nearly every other sport requires individual equipment. [Soccer] is a quick sport to pick up. If you can kick a ball, you can play. As you grow with the game, it becomes more tactical and complex.”
Summer Rec League soccer is played on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the PCYS Soccer Complex, located at 701 Badger Ave. in Stevens Point. The 2015 Rec League is tentatively scheduled to begin Tuesday, June 16 and run through Thursday, July 30.
“The [Rec League] coaches are parent volunteers,” said PCYS board member Lisa Falduto. “Many of our athletes also feed into [their] school teams and some of the coaches also coach at SPASH and other district schools.”
PCYS’s mission is to promote good sportsmanship, physical fitness, team play, a positive self-image, and the enjoyment of the game. The organization stresses community service and is proud of its contribution to Portage County. According to the Stevens Point Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, PCYS’s tournaments draw large numbers of participants who spend money locally. In 2012, their Summer Classic brought in over $400,000.
Complete information on Portage County Youth Soccer can be found on their website at www.pcys.net. Online registration for summer leagues is available or forms can be downloaded from the site.