Youths hoping this year’s soccer season will go ahead despite the COVID-19 pandemic have reason for optimism, as the Wallowa Valley Youth Soccer Association has been taking registrations since early May, association president Jeff Yanke said Monday, June 8.

“Hoping everything can go off as planned this season,” Yanke said.

The regular season starts Saturday, Sept. 12. This year, they’ll have a daylong series of games as a preseason jamboree instead of doing it at the end of the season, Yanke said.

“It’s just a bunch of soccer games on a Saturday,“ he said.

Registration is open through July 31, with early registration open through June 30. Regular registration costs $40. Those who register early will receive $10 back, he said.

There are three — possibly four — age groups for play. All must have reached their age levels by Sept. 1. Competition is broken down by ages 5 through 7, 8 through 10 and 11 through 13.

This year, Yanke said, the association is taking registrations for a tentative 14-through-16-year-old group. There are no extracurricular soccer programs in schools in Wallowa County.

“We have some older kids who desire to be active in the sport. A lot of our kids are starting to age out,” he said. “We’re just going to let people register for it and see what kind of interest is out there.”

He said that if there aren’t enough kids in the oldest group to form teams, they will receive a full refund of their registration fees.

Yanke said he’s also eager to recruit coaches, particularly for the youngest age group. “You really don’t need lotta experience in youngest age group,” he said.

Registration may be done online at the league’s website: https://clubs.bluesombrero.com/wallowavalleyysa. Contact the league by email at wallowavalleysoccer@gmail.com.

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