from staff reports
The Meridian Star
The second-largest recreational soccer program in the state began its spring season Saturday as the Meridian Youth Soccer Organization kicked off.
MYSO, which plays games every Thursday and Saturday with U4, U5, U6, U7, U8, U10 and U12 leagues for both boys and girls. This season there are approximately 145 teams playing according to Neil Henry, one of the MYSO board members, an increase of about 25-30 teams from last season.
"We've got a lot of teams in the U10 and U12 range that are competing to try and qualify for the central district tournament that will be held in April," Henry said. "There's a lot at stake there and people are practicing really hard right now.
"It's really taken off and people are seeing really good soccer out there."
One of the ways MYSO is working to continue to grow is through advanced and experienced coaches.
"We're partnering with experienced coaches, college teams to try and get top quality coaching for these kids," Henry added. "We're trying to offer advanced soccer products for the people interested. There's just so much going on and trying to continue that trend.
"We're actually trying to hire a director of coaching, and we feel like once we get this hire, it will take a load off of us on the competitive ranks and allow us to really make our recreational product as good as it can be."
And while the spring season just started — and it is a condensed schedule that includes multiple games for teams on certain days as the league works around spring break and the Easter holiday — MYSO is also working on big things in the fall.
"We're going to try and have basically a jamboree day for special need athletes," he said. "We're trying to work with the community and get the word out that we want to get these athletes out here for a fun, fun day."