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Local soccer season off to promising start

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The hot weather is back and the smoke seems to be dipping in and out of the Capital region, which isn’t ideal for outdoor soccer.

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The head coach of the 2006 Girls team from the Sherwood Park District Soccer Association said the team has been coping with the ups and downs of summer.

“Our kids have responded really well to the heat and we’ve adjusted our training to ensure that kids are getting the proper rest and proper hydration. We’ve adjusted training to go in the evening so it will be cooler,” explained head coach Sarah Munoz. “The kids are super keen to be back playing again and are happy to be there regardless of weather and anything else.”

The recent wildfire smoke caused one practice to be cancelled but Munoz said, overall, the players are just happy to be back on the field.

The ’06 girls team has had three league games so far this season. The league has a total of seven teams, with three from the Edmonton area and four from the Calgary area.

The season runs until late September or early October and Munoz said they are working hard to climb the rankings.

“It is a long season and we have lots of work to do. We have a long-term goal of obviously trying to finish the league at the top,” explained the head coach. “Right now, the boys are doing very well. They’ve won their first two games. The girls have won one and lost one. I think long-term we have a lot of potential and I see us finishing at the top of the league.”

The 2006 PDP Girls. Photo Supplied
The 2006 PDP Girls. Photo Supplied

After a year of cancelled seasons, Munoz said the kids are just really happy to be able to compete again.

“We trained all year. During the restrictions we were training. For most of the wintertime, we were playing in isolation in groups of eight with no contact. As soon as we were able to get playing again we’ve been going non-stop,” she said. “Lots of training and going four or five times a week to get the boys and girls back to where they should be.”

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The head coach said getting back into the sport has been a great boost to the kid’s morale.

“They are happy to be there with their friends playing, competing, learning, it is a really positive environment for all the kids and coaches,” Munoz said.

The 2006 PDP Boys. Photo Supplied
The 2006 PDP Boys. Photo Supplied

The pandemic didn’t slow down interest in the sport in the county, according to Munoz.

“We had assessment in March and it showed we added a few players to our team. This group will take us into October and then there will be another intake of players,” Munoz said. “Most likely, the team will stay pretty consistent.”

As far as the increase in COVID cases in Calgary, Munoz said the team is taking safety seriously as there are four teams from the area they will play during the season.

“If we feel it is unsafe we will make alternative plans but I think overall everyone has been very careful. We continue to do COVID tracing and the kids are very responsible and right now I think everyone is optimistic about the opportunity to play but obviously, I’ll make sure our health is number one,” she said.

The 06 girls will play Sunday, August 8 at Emerald Hills at 2:40 p.m. against the Calgary Rangers.The boy’s game will take place prior to that, 12:10 p.m., at the same location.

tdosser@postmedia.com

twitter.com/travisdosser

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