Two months into the season, the Mid-Isle Soccer Club (MSC) is celebrating a number of new developments and looking forward to exciting additions to the club.
The club is in great shape, with more than 110 new players this year, according to club vice-president Mike Rankin.
Rankin reports that the new MSC Highlanders teams are holding their own against Campbell River, Comox, Port Alberni and Powell River in the competitive Upper Island Soccer Association League and are really developing, while the MSC Blue Army house league teams are tearing up the turf as well.
MSC recently sent a U11 boys team to Comox for a jamboree tournament for the first time, and the boys “had a blast,” he said.
MSC’s Monday night club development sessions continue to be well-attended despite the recent rainy weather, according to Rankin, who says there are usually 160 players at each session.
This week, every house league player received a Blue Army practice T-shirt for these Monday sessions. Each age group wears a specific colour, and every T-shirt has the initials JAH on the sleeve to honour Jaedyn Amann-Hicks, the five-year-old girl from Cedar who lost her life this summer when a collapsible soccer goal fell on her in Whitehorse.
“Memorializing Jaedyn on our sleeves is our way of remembering her,” said Rankin. “Although we don’t have the same type of nets as that one in the Yukon, Sue Glenn at Ladysmith Parks and Rec has ordered special weights for our nets at Forrest Field, and they should arrive shortly.”
Rankin is excited to announce that the long-awaited Mid-Isle Girl Power team, made up of the club’s U8 and U9 girls, will play its first game together Nov. 3 in Parksville and then will host the return match Nov. 24 at Forrest Field.
“This all-girls team is something that parents have wanted for a while,” said Rankin. “We only have enough girls to form one team at that age, and they’ve never had anyone to play against (until now) , so the girls have always been mixed in with the boys. But at our Mini World Cup tournament this past May, the girls played on their own team, had a great time and kicked some serious butt! We’re very happy that the Oceanside Youth Soccer Club accepted our invitation, and we’re tickled pink that these girls get the chance to play together again!”
The MSC is currently looking for volunteers to assist with preparations for the Festival of Lights parade.
“We hope to get the whole Blue Army, as well as our Highlanders teams, marching and making noise this year, as well as our brand-new Soccer Tots, the adorable young athletes from our new program for three- and four-year-olds,” said Rankin.