By Ginger DeShaney
It was a full-circle moment for some parents last week as the upstart South Boston Soccer League kicked off its first season with a meet-and-greet and parade at Moakley Park.
When Jean Matthews was a kid, she played for South Boston Youth Soccer, which has been revitalized as the South Boston Soccer League. Now she’s getting her 6-year-old son, Ryan, into it.
“I love it,” said Jean, who played soccer until she was 21. “It’s good for the kids.”
Ryan added, “It’s great.”
Jack Feeney also played SB Youth Soccer. “I used to do it when I was a little kid. I’m excited for him to do it,” he said about his 3-year-old son.
Jack got friendship and great memories from his playing days in the league. “I will enjoy watching him,” Jack said, noting he’s hoping his son gets the same things out of this new league.
Parents brought their excited kids to Saunders Stadium recently, where they met their teammates and coaches, and had a run around the track to kick off the official start of the season.
Former South Boston Youth Soccer players and coaches Caitlyn Murphy, Samantha Mackie, Michaela Colvin, and Katelyn Evans revived the league after learning that president Billy Baker was stepping down after the COVID-19 hiatus.
Baker gave his blessing to the foursome but didn’t feel comfortable transferring the league’s name, so the women came up with the new moniker.
The founders are hearing from parents that they are so glad the league is back. Bryan Van Dorpe, whose grandchild is excited about playing, said it’s great these young women are keeping the league alive.
The women are grateful for the help they received in order to meet their goal of getting the new league up and running in just a matter of months.
“Billy set up such a strong foundation for us that everyone knew we were coming — permits, sponsors, some players and families,” said Caitlyn.
There was also great support from people who played when they were young and now are enrolling their kids or nieces and nephews. “They know what the league meant to them and they want those kids to have those same experiences,” Caitlyn said.
Lastly, Caitlyn credited board member Michaela with doing a lot of legwork and outreach: “She has been doing all the work on social media and tabling outside of places like the Boys & Girls Club to make sure we reach as many players as we can.”
So far about 100 kids, ages 3-14, have signed up. The league has a rolling enrollment, so parents can sign kids up at any time. The fee is $10 per kid or $25 for a family. Funds are available for families who can’t afford the fee.
Evera and Alyssa, both 8, are excited for the season and think the league is going to be really fun … and not to mention good exercise.
“The most fun thing will be defending the goal and becoming goalie,” Alyssa said. Evera added that she also wants to be a goalie.
Ketih Savage’s 4-year-old, Aubrey, will be playing. “The kids like it, so it’s a good option to have,” he said.
Players have one game every Sunday (at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., or noon) at Saunders and have one practice a week (Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday).
There is a need for coaches and sponsors. So far, the league has lined up the following team sponsors: Tempco Roofing, Coyne Adams Club, Sullivan’s: Castle Island, Falcon General Contracting, Metro Energy, and Stapleton Floral.
If you are interested in coaching, sponsoring, or enrolling your child, reach out to the league board at firstname.lastname@example.org.