We just finished another season of fall pre-kindergarten soccer with the coaches and kids of Scarborough Youth Sports Forum. Forty-three kids got a taste of the basics of dribbling, passing, shooting, throw-ins and heading the ball, and did some scrimmaging.

They also heard about the importance of fitness, nutrition and exercise and received some fresh fruit and bottled water. The program ended with a trash pick-up to experience community service, and a visit to a Scarborough High School girls soccer game. All in all, a good experience for the kids and parents, we hope.

Some thank yous are in order to people who made it possible for 43 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds to learn some soccer, have some fun – and beat up on the adults!

Thank you to Coach Heather Labbe and the outstanding crew of Scarborough students she recruited to help with the program: Jenn Colpitts, Hanna Lyons, Matt Mayo, Alana Peoples, Sasha Timpson and Crysti Tsujiura.

Thank you to the business sponsors who helped with some of the costs of the program: Tim O’Brien of Pleasant Hill Embroidery; Shawn Moody of Moody Collision Center; and Don Lauzier of Saco and Biddeford Savings Institution. Thanks, guys; your T-shirts reached kids who don’t yet have 98 in their closet; the instructional booklet might actually be read, even as a bedtime story! Our entire society will benefit if they keep eating apples and drinking bottles of water, such as the ones you supplied.

Thank you to the First Congregational Church for allowing Scarborough Youth Sports Forum to use its spacious, green back lawn for the sessions. We hope we have returned it in as good a shape as we found it!

Finally, and most importantly, thank you to the families who took time out of their busy lives to cart their kids back and forth to the sessions, stand patiently on the sidelines watching coaches try to help your kids learn more about soccer, and some things in life. Let us know in 10 years if it was all worth it.

It is fun to see the same kids throughout the year in other SYSF sports – basketball, jumping rope, cross country, baseball featherball, golf and others.

On a personal note, my record of never having a 3- or 4-year-old steal a soccer ball from me while dribbling remains intact. I also added another year to my streak of never having been scored upon by a pre-K player in shooting drills; I do, however, acknowledge scurrilous allegations made at the closing session by three players on this point. An immediate investigation will be conducted. I expect to announce the results shortly. My record in one-on-one games with 4-year-olds is now 6-3-1, a mark that clearly merits my place high in soccer history.

Again, thank you to everybody who made the sessions possible. Soccer fever remains high in Scarborough. This program is a recipient of that enthusiasm. Have a good rest of autumn, and winter!

Dan Warren

Director, Scarborough Youth Sports Forum

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