Hundreds of young soccer players descended on Hogan-Ennis Field on Saturday, as the opening day of the 2019 recreational youth soccer program kicked off in Escalon.
Games started as early as 8 a.m. for the Aug. 10 kickoff, continuing on throughout the mid-afternoon.
Escalon Recreation Services Coordinator Bridget Gaines said the day went well.
“Our numbers are pretty close to last year, we have 59 teams and 670 kids,” she said of those participating in the rec program.
Teams range from the youngest Tots division, ages 3 and 4, that typically do not use a goalie, to the 5- and 6-year-old Squirts, the 7- and 8-year-old Pee Wee players, the Minors 9- and 10-year-olds and the oldest Major/Senior division for 11 through 14-year-olds.
“The season runs through October 5,” Gaines added, noting that the program will take the Saturday of Labor Day weekend off, with no games scheduled on Aug. 31.
Many local businesses, service organizations and individuals have sponsored teams, from the Escalon Kiwanis Club to Hula’s, the Escalon Police Department to Thompson Ranch.
The majority of referees are local as well, many of them high school students who are able to make a little money each Saturday as they oversee the games.Gaines said she got good reports from the opening day, with a pretty smooth, yet busy first day of competition