By Stacy Case
With the winter months comes one of the most heavily-participated recreational sports programs in town…. soccer!
For years, both Coral Springs and Parkland have been offering rec soccer within their respective city limits to thousands of local youth. This year is no different. Both leagues began in mid-November, with much participation once again, and games will finish in the late winter/early Spring.
More than just a game of kicking the ball up and down the field with the hopes of scoring a goal; it’s the experience that the players take from their play, season after season, that matters quite a bit. An experienced coach shared his insight on the program. “We’ve had so many kids play each and every year for so long, so we must be doing something right,” says Sean Kavanaugh, whose three children have all played for Coral Springs Soccer over his 13 year coaching stint. “This is just such a successful recreational sports league, mostly because it’s so organized.” He says it takes a lot of work to put together the program each year, in which placing a varying level of players on each team has always been a priority. End-of-season player evaluations from coaches/league officials aid in this effort to balance all divisions of play.
And while Coral Springs has its players shared between both Mullins Park and Cypress Park throughout its season, Parkland players take to the field at Pine Trails Park for their turn at the game. And as stated by Parkland Soccer Club’s President, Doug Cole, who has coached both of his children in that atmosphere for years, “This is a great team sport, and as a Board of Directors, we try to create harmony in order for everyone to have a good season.” Cole is supported by about 20 other board members in Parkland, and over its 30 years of existence, he’s witnessed the program prosper.
Perhaps it’s because the league officials are all on the same page with their mindset to have a fun, safe environment for the soccer players to immerse themselves in, or it may be due to the fact that all on the roster must play at least half of the game. It very well could be a healthy combination of all ingredients. All the while, Doug says it’s important for the kids to enjoy themselves.
Both leagues, although the players are on their fields for only about four months, are hard at work throughout the year in order to continue the longevity of recreational soccer within this sports-dense community.