Soccer Approved as a Jefferson County Middle School Sport

Soccer Jefferson County TN Schools Middle School 1 07282017For the first time in the history of Jefferson County School Sports, soccer will be coming to local middle schools. The intent is to have enough teams to represent the local middle schools, though the teams will technically be club sports, rather than school sanctioned teams. Much like cross country or middle school softball, the teams will function as a school sport. A group of interested parents, with the assistance of School Board Member Denise Fair, brought the issue of developing soccer as a middle school sport before the School Board on July 27, 2017. The Jefferson County Middle School Soccer Club will be operated by volunteers; however, the organizing committee anticipates paying coaches and referees through team fees, which they vow to keep affordable to allow those students that are interested in soccer but unable to participate in travel clubs to have an opportunity to participate. They estimate that interest will be large enough to have clubs at the various middle schools, but, should the numbers not pan out, adjustment could be made for one or two county-wide teams.

Tryouts for interested players will be held around the third week of August, and games will be scheduled on Monday and Thursdays starting around the third week in September. Teams inside the County middle school program will play each other, and there will be separate teams for girls and boys. Jefferson County Athletic Director Randy Rogers will be the school liaison for the new clubs, and representatives from the school system will be required to be at practices and games, though the coaches will be appointed by the steering committee. Rogers said that he is interested to see the turnout, and is always concerned about the longevity of a new team addition, noting that participation levels come and go year to year. He also stressed that those athletes that are already playing travel club soccer will not be at a disadvantage at the High School if they do not choose to participate in the middle school program. Rogers said that the middle school program will be great for some kids, but others are already rooted in competitive travel teams. Parents and student athletes should consider what is best for the individual student.

School Board Member Fair said that this program offers an avenue of participation for those that cannot or choose not to participate in travel clubs. She noted that soccer is the largest participation sport for children. The committee will be returning to the School Board with information regarding a host school that can handle the bookkeeping for the various clubs. With the start of school just around the corner, the time line to jump start soccer on the middle school level is in high gear. Those that are interested should be on the lookout for information regarding upcoming tryouts.

Source: K. Depew, News Director

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