Recreation soccer prepares for district play

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 29, 2009

When the end of October rolls around, many people would consider football to be the most important sport.

However, for some in Troy, another kind of “football” comes to mind.

The Parks and Recreation Department’s district soccer teams were just recently selected and the seven teams have been practicing for the past week.

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The different ages groups start from nine-years and under and run all the way up to 18-years and under.

The season will get underway at the beginning of November with tournaments in Eufaula and Dothan.

Mark Salmon is one of the coaches who will be hoping to lead young players on a journey that will be successful on and off the field.

Salmon is the coach of the 13-and-under co-ed team.

With the first game a little over a week away on Nov. 7, the team began practicing on Oct. 24 – with a start time at 7 a.m.

“Practice has been good so far,” Salmon said. “We got things started early on Saturday to help the kids get used to playing around that time of the day. “We have been working a lot on conditioning along with things like corner kicks and penalty kicks,” he said.

The coach continued by saying this year’s team was one of the better overall teams that he has coached since he began in the early 1990’s.

“We had a lot of talent available this year and because of that, we have the biggest team we have ever had with 18 players.

“We have a nice mixture of different skills on this team,” Salmon added.

Like most of the teams, Salmon’s team will be starting play in Eufaula.

“We see a lot of potential with this group and we feel pretty opportunistic about our chances this season. “All we are going to do is encourage the kids to do their very best,” he said.

Like Salmon, Ken LaBrant and his team are looking for their fair share of season during the district tournaments.

LaBrant coaches the 11-and-under team and says the team is coming together nicely.

“Practices started out like I expected them to,” LaBrant said.

“We were a bit off at first, but the kids have been working really hard and coming together.”

LaBrant said he has been practicing with the kids, working on getting them prepared for the upcoming tournaments.

“These kids have really worked hard and are having a lot of fun. “We are focused on winning our first game and will go on from there,” LaBrant said.

“We have the potential to make it through district.”

David Dickey, the youth sports coordinator for the Recreation Department, said these district teams are just another way to demonstrate the talent that Troy has to offer.

“The kids show how well rounded our youth programs in Troy really are,” Dickey said Thursday night.

“Last season, we won a couple state championships in soccer and baseball. It just shows how good of a job the kids and the coaches do of representing the community and also how well they do at achieving higher goals.”