Wareham Youth Soccer players learn the love of the game
Every Saturday during the fall and spring, the fields at the John W. Decas are full with kids, parents, and coaches cheering on soccer players ages 4 to 13.
Wareham Youth Soccer includes both the rec program for younger kids and travel teams for teenagers up to 18 years of age.
“It’s a blast coming out here Saturday mornings,” said Bob Catarius, the president of the organization. “It really is one big family.”
Catarius said that key to the program is the work of volunteers.
“This really doesn’t run unless we have volunteer coaches,” Catarius said. The coaches lead weekly practices and games for younger teams, and the travel teams practice twice a week.
For the youngest players, the focus is mostly on learning the mechanics of playing soccer: dribbling, how to use different parts of the foot, and moving down the field. Eventually, the coaches start to add in some elements of competition, as half the tiny players have soccer balls and the other half tries to steal from them.
Catarius said that early competition can be tough for the kids, some of whom get upset when someone else touches their soccer ball. By the end of the season, the coaches will bring out mini nets and the kids will try some real games.
In addition to helping kids work on their soccer skills, Wareham Youth Soccer is working on some new fields at Westfield, near Charlotte Furnace Road.
The program has secured the right to use the fields, and volunteers have begun some of the work to make the fields playable. The land had sat unused for so long that some of the fields had trees growing in them.
To finish that work, the group will be requesting $40,000 in Community Preservation Funds. The project is expected to cost about $70,000 overall.
In addition to work needed on the fields themselves, the site doesn’t have enough parking, so the club plans to take over part of the field to create a parking lot, which will necessitate cutting down some trees and cutting a hole in a fence.
The funds would also be used to purchase goals, other miscellaneous equipment, and a shed to store it all in.
For more information about the project and youth soccer, go to warehamsoccer.com.