County establishes youth soccer league
As two moms who recently spearheaded the establishment of McCreary County Youth Soccer League Inc., Candice Slavey and Chelsea Decker wear the titles of “soccer mom” proudly.
The idea for a soccer league began innocently enough. Discussing McCreary County sports while sitting together at a T-ball event, the two women suddenly looked at each other and exclaimed, “We should have soccer!”
And why not? After all, their own children repeatedly asked about soccer, and it was much too far to travel to the soccer league in Somerset.
Slavey and Decker approached the McCreary County Park Board hoping to find a location for practices and games. The Park Board was supportive and agreed to provide space for the soccer league.
“We jumped right in,” Decker said with a smile.
“That’s right,” Slavey agreed with her friend. “We just rolled with it!”
After gathering information from youth soccer leagues in Somerset, KY and Oneida, TN, the two launched sign-ups for the league in May, 2022. The league now has 100 children, ages two-eleven years old, participating in it.
With their fall youth soccer season running from August 13-October 15, the fourteen teams of 5-8 year olds have received great support from parents and community. The teams square off at the McCreary County Park on Saturdays, four players against four, with all volunteer coaches. The coaches, referees, and other assistants consist of parents, community members, and high school soccer players.
“In the beginning, the hardest thing was trying to keep up with everything ourselves,” Decker said. “We had to get the word out because it was a new program. But now, it’s great to see all the parent support and the kids with smiles on their faces.”
“The kids are learning the fundamentals of soccer and just having a good time,” Slavey commented enthusiastically.
Decker and Slavey are optimistic the league will continue to grow. The two also hope the school district’s soccer program will continue to flourish and eventually expand to include a boys’ soccer team.