With Gov. Kevin Stitt’s announcement to begin the reopening of businesses and activities soon, the Durant Soccer Club is pondering the beginning of a packed-but-abbreviated youth season.
In coordination with the Oklahoma Soccer Association, the local club has announced May 15 as the target start-up date to resume practices, and May 23 as opening day for games at the Durant Multi-Sports Complex.
“We are encouraging coaches to contact their teams and make sure their kids are out and about (and) active so it’s not a complete shock to their system when they get back out there,” League President Brett Rogers said.
“Abiding by OSA (Oklahoma Soccer Association) rules, we’ve instructed them to not start bringing teams together until May 15 but still being smart when they do that. We still encourage coaches to have limited contact if possible, especially for the first few weeks.
“It’s been a month-plus of not knowing. I’ve seen kids doing some soccer drills off videos and starting to get the soccer ball back on their feet, which is what most of them have been looking forward to for some time. We are giving them about a week of practice time starting May 15 to get back in the groove before actual games begin.”
According to Rogers, the rapidly growing Durant soccer league has approximately 400 kids signed up from the Under-4 league all the way up to Under-15.
Teams were already drafted prior to the COVID-19 shutdown, so parents should know who their child’s coach is for the upcoming season if they had not already begun practicing before the stoppage.
The league will attempt to get each team eight games in during a shortened six-week window provided that the May 23 opening comes to fruition.
“Parents should visit with their coach and if they decide they don’t want their child to play because of health reservations we’ll try to look at partial refunds,” Rogers stated. “We just want to try and get back to a sense of normalcy and I am sure a lot of parents are ready for that as well as getting their kids out and active again.
“Hopefully we can get about six weeks in before we have to wrap it up around June 30 when the fiscal year ends. Baring any delay or weather problems, we will be cramming in eight games for each team so that may include some weeknight games. We’ll definitely take advantage on sunny Saturdays for as many games as possible.”