Should seventh, eighth graders be able to play soccer in the spring too?

This year’s fall soccer program had over 70 students participating in the seventh and eighth-grade teams. These students participated in a two-month soccer program that included training and playing against other local international school teams. Because of its popularity, many of the athletes have wondered why there isn’t a spring soccer season.

Seventh grader Alex Sullivan played for the seventh-grade girls soccer team in the fall and also plays year round for Kinja Football Club. Sullivan really enjoyed her season playing for ASL but wishes it was more competitive and lasted longer. “I enjoy more competitive programs because to me they are more fun,” Sullivan said.

She believes you can benefit from playing year round in a more competitive environment, but thinks it should be an option to play more at ASL. “I think they should have a longer program just not make you do it for the entire time,” Sullivan said. Sullivan believes that one of the benefits of playing year round is staying in shape.   

Owen Steege is a seventh grader who played for the grade 7 orange soccer team and also plays for Kinja Football Club. Steege really enjoyed the soccer season and enjoyed playing soccer alongside his peers. Steege believes having a longer season is good for players’ development. “I would like to train year round. It would get me more exercise and allow me to play the sport I love with my friends more,” Steege said.

One of the coaches agrees that an extended season is beneficial to players. Mr. Sergio Pimentel, a member of the kitchen staff and after school supervisor, has trained the ASL varsity boys and some seventh and eighth-grade students for over two years. He believes training out of the season which lasts from late August to November has been really beneficial for his players’ improvement. Mr. Pimentel believes ASL should play soccer more than just in the fall. “I think ASL should have a program in the spring. Soccer is a big program at ASL; however, we cannot be selfish,” Mr. Pimentel said.

Ms. Heidi McCune, assistant athletic director, said that although soccer had a lot of participants and enough interest for a spring season, it would be unfair to another sport that would have to be cut. “It’s a decision made by the International School Sports Tournament (ISST). They set their schedule for the high school, and the middle school follows along with that because it makes the most sense to use our facilities. With all the spring sports offered, there would not be space to do a soccer program in the spring. We would have to take another sport away to make space in the spring,” Ms. McCune said.

Although the fall soccer program was quite popular, ASL is not likely to make a spring program available. Canons Park, ASL’s training fields, have very limited space during the spring season due to the several sports held there making a spring season very unlikely. “ASL’s philosophy is to have as many offerings as possible to give kids as many opportunities to try different sports rather than focusing on one” Ms. McCune said. She says if students really want to play more than just the ASL season that there are many local clubs they could join.

About Kira Crutcher ('21)

Staff Writer (2016-17)

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