By Ashley Ferraro
Parkland Soccer is back in full swing, with registration now open to youth of all age groups up to 18 years old. For more than three decades, the league has acted as a beacon for the community as it creates a unique bonding experience for children and their families. Parkland residents and non-residents are invited to join the fun and what’s lined up to be the most exciting season yet.
“We just hope that things are back to a comfortable and safe normal,” says Parkland Soccer President Doug Cole, as the league saw a notable dip in participation last year. “We’re hopeful we’ll get back to 1400 players and have full rosters.”
With COVID-19 regulations and safety protocol in place, Parkland Soccer was, fortunately, able to move forward with its 2020 season. However, the conditions made it impossible for the league to host its famous annual picnic. Throughout the years, the picnic has become a staple event for Parkland families. Although all COVID protocols as dictated by the CDC and local government will still be followed, Parkland Soccer is gearing up to make a full return and hoping to bring the picnic back this season.
Scheduled to take place in late February at Pine Trails Park, the event will feature live music, a video wall, rides, and many more fun activities to keep the whole family entertained. In line with tradition, trophies and individual/team photos will also be distributed to players at the picnic.
Parkland Soccer is always open to partnering with local sponsors. Sponsors will be welcome to set up booths at the picnic and reap other worthwhile benefits, such as having their logo printed on team jerseys.
The league also welcomes parents and community members who are interested in volunteering as coaches. Since Parkland Soccer was started by the late Pete and Linda Gado over 30 years ago, it has always been about the community.
“Pete used to cut the grass and line the fields himself before games. For night games, the parents would light up the headlights on their cars so the kids could play,” adds Doug. “The league and the city have come a long way since then, and Pete was really instrumental in everything up until he passed away.”
Parkland plans to honor Pete Gado and his incredible legacy as the founder of Parkland Soccer with a special memorial at Pine Trails Park. Field 2 will be renamed after him, and a bench, a tree, and a plaque will reside at the park where the kids currently play in his memory.
Registration is open now through August 31st. Preseason practice will begin on October 24th. Evaluations will be held for most age groups to ensure teams are divided evenly, promoting a fair and fun environment.
For more information on Parkland Soccer or to
register as a player, sponsor, coach, or referee, please visit www.parklandsoccer.net.