LANGLEY — Soccer kids must be made of sterner stuff than the average kid on the block.
On Saturday, they showed up in droves to play their favorite game undeterred by the weather.
Sponsored by the South Whidbey Youth Soccer Club, SoccerFest had tournaments for players in five age divisions, U-10 to U-14, representing teams from South Whidbey and Coupeville. Each played three games,
20 minute halves for a total of 50 games on six fields overall.
“I thought it went very well,” club president Terry Swanson said. “The games were competitive but in a friendly spirit. Parents and kids had a great time.”
During the day, almost 400 soccer players, family and volunteers could be seen at the South Whidbey Parks & Recreation District complex on Langley Road.
There, volunteer coaches managed soccer-themed games to time the speed of a kicked ball measured by radar, gauge whether a shot went into the goal and examined the ability to juggle with feet only; that would be called dribbling.
Jeryn Rieck from Langley fired in one ball after another.
“This is fun,” he said.
That it poured all day from beginning to end mattered not in the least.
Pink Panther Coach Stacy Madsen said her girls had a great time. Her team has players ranging in age from 8 to 12.
“This is one sport they can play rain or shine,” Madsen said. “It’s all good, even a day like this.”
The club encourages beginners of all ages to join; coaching is oriented toward new players at all levels, not just the youngest.
“Next year — yes, there will be a SoccerFest 2 — we hope to improve the experience by adding a U-6 and U-8 category,” Swanson said.