Soccer program shows steady growth


The Madisonville Youth Soccer Association, in its third year, has seen the kind a growth a fledgling organization can hope for in its participation.

Matt Newton, treasurer of the Madison County Soccer Club, said the club was founded in 2014, and was recognized as the city’s soccer organization for youth.

“We’re chartered under the Brazos Valley Youth Soccer Association, which in turn is governed by South Texas Youth Soccer Association, and that feeds into the state and world organizations,” he said.

The organization has two seasons per year, one in spring and one in fall. Participants can play in either or both.

Beth Zanolini said the teams play roughly six to eight games per season, depending on enrollment. Currently, there are 168 players registered.

“Ultimately, we’d like to get where we have solid numbers in every age group — U-14 on down to U-6,” Newton said. “It will let kids play through junior high school, and then transfer right into the high school team.

“That’s the goal,” he said. “We’d also like to get enough to have girls and boys teams, instead of coed like we are now.”

Each team plays eight games per season with the four teams in each division; the fields are on the north side of Lake Madison. Games are played on Saturdays.

The Madisonville City Council recently approved some funding, and granted permission for, renovations at the fields, which Newton said will begin in April after the spring season. Plans are to build a fence, replace the goals, and whip the fields into proper shape, Newton said.

Newton said there is a need for volunteers across the spectrum — board members, coaches, etc.

“The health of the club needs to continue, and we need to get more people involved,” he said.

The current board consists of Beth Standley, president; Pat Davis, vice president; Katherine Cole, secretary; and Newton. Madisonville High School soccer coach Baltazar Reyes advises the group and helps coordinate referees.

“I’m confident that once people start stepping up an becoming involved, this will become a great organization,” he said. “I know there’s a need for it.

“Soccer gives kids something else to try,” he said.

Newton said that for young children, it teaches them to run and coordination.

“As a sport, it’s very good for kids to play,” Newton said. “I’m doing this for my daughter. It’s good for her, and it’s a great sport.”

Elections are held in the summer, and anyone interested in helping the league can contact current board members.

“We’re going to do whatever we can to make this a good organization for Madison County,” Newton said. “All the kids have to do is play.”