Soccer kicks off for fall

The Chickasaw County Soccer Association is hosting the final week of registration for the upcoming season. The association has been active in Chickasaw County for over ten years but has had dwindling numbers in recent years and organizers are hoping to boost participation.
Carol Byrne has been involved in the organization since its inception and said many people in the are still aren’t familiar with the sport.
“I didn’t know anything about soccer either ten or 11 years ago but kids love it,” Byrne said. “They don’t have to be the most athletic, they just want to have fun.”
All five of Byrne’s children participated in soccer at some time in their youth.
“They all still kick the soccer ball around when we are home and have time,” Byrne said.
None of the local public schools have soccer programs available, but the post-secondary schools do. Oscar Bedolla of Houston earned a soccer scholarship to Itawamba Community College despite never playing a minute on a high school team and is still active in the sport.
“I’m not playing soccer in college any more, but I play city league in Tupelo,” Bedolla said. “Soccer has great benefits. It keeps you in shape, first of all, and it’s just something new for the kids.”
Bedolla still volunteers with the CCSA as a coach.
Teams are co-ed and divided by age groups. Games are currently played at Houston Upper Elementary School but the City of Houston is working to develop a multi-purpose field on Starkville Road that can be used for soccer and youth football next year.
Registration fees are $55 and partial scholarships are available through the Northeast Mississippi Youth Foundation. Fees include a jersey and socks. Players are responsible for shoes and other gear.
The season is set to begin in mid-Sept. and run through Nov. 15.