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AYSO youth soccer leagues in full swing in Evanston

Posted: Friday, Jul 5th, 2013


The Gray Swords play against the Red Raccoons in the 4- to 5-year-old group. HERALD PHOTOS/Anjoli Mosier


EVANSTON — On any Saturday morning throughout June to mid-July, you will see multiple, simultaneous, fast-paced soccer games going on at Aspen Elementary school. Almost 500 kids between the ages of 4 and 18 are signed up for AYSO in Uinta County this year.

The American Youth Soccer Organization’s Evanston coordinator, Maria Jetkoski, is thrilled with the turnout. Soccer in this town, she says, has expanded a lot over the last few years. Kids are starting to play younger, and are continuing on to play each following season.  

“We are always looking for volunteers,” Jetkoski said. “Anytime anyone wants to volunteer, we are more than happy to have them help us out.”

There are 52 teams, and while there are some great volunteers, there never seems to be enough, Jetkoski explained, since from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. every week, the field is jam-packed with soccer players, coaches, parents, siblings, friends, and spectators. 

For the past three years, they have been scheduling games with a team in the Bridger Valley, bringing a more competitive aspect for some of the older teams in the league. Jetkoski said they hope to find more teams in the area with which to schedule games. She feels that this will help all of the teams grow in their abilities and skills, as well as lend a bit of excitement to the game. 

“Everybody plays” is the AYSO motto. Regardless of their ability or skill set, everybody plays, and organizers try their best to balance the teams with skills or abilities, so that each player enjoys the game. 

The safety of the kids is the first concern in AYSO. Participants must wear safety gear, and all those who volunteer as coaches, assistants, or referees must past a background check before working with the kids. Kids in the older leagues referee for some of the younger leagues when they are not playing, so they can get an overall perspective of the game, which Jetkoski said only advances their skills. 

Hopes are high to get a dedicated soccer field installed somewhere in town in the future. Jetkoski feels that looking at all the participants playing at the fields every week are a true testament to the need for a field to call their own

To volunteer, or for more information, contact the Evanston Park and Recreation Center at (307) 789-1770.











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