By Judson Scott
The Oxford Park Commission is seeing record numbers for youth soccer this season, and athletic manager Alx Little credits sense of community for its growth.
Little, who started working at OPC in January of 2019, has seen a steady increase in the number of people signing up to play soccer in his short stint.
“This fall we had 919 kids sign up, which is the most kids we have had register for fall soccer. I believe our numbers keep rising because the kids not only love to play soccer, but the sense of community in this town is so tightly woven that the same number of kids or more want to keep signing up each year,” Little said.
The soccer season is just right around the corner as the spring season will begin in mid-February and will last until the beginning of April. OPC also offers a variety of different age groups as well for the kids ranging all the way from 5U to 14U.
In full, the season will last about seven to eight weeks with games being played on Mondays, Wednesdays or Thursdays. OPC does not offer any type of playoffs or championship.
OPC has decided to stay away from the competitive scene in terms of the on the field product. Little and staff believe the learning process for kids at this age is much more important than a win or loss.
“We want each kid that signs up to have an equal chance at playing time and learning/enjoying the game of soccer,” Little said.
Little manages for youth soccer and softball as well as adult soccer and softball. Little is in charge of all the logistics when it comes to organizing a team including managing schedules, assigning coaches to teams, ordering uniforms and monitoring games as the season progresses.
Little believes he has found the perfect fit working with OPC, as it allows him to do something he is very passionate about.
“I’ve played soccer my whole life, and when my collegiate career was ending, I focused on getting my degree in Sports Administration because I still wanted to be involved with and around sports,” Little said. “This job allows me not only to be involved in sports but to help other people enjoy sports in the best way possible.”
Soccer isn’t for everyone, OPC recognizes that and also offers kids the ability to participate in flag football, baseball, basketball, softball, gymnastics, tennis and many other programs.