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Soccer keeps kids active and having fun

Veronica Jacuinde

Wasco Tribune

The Wasco Recreation and Parks District youth soccer league launched on Saturday. Kids ages three to 14 participated in a morning of athletics and fun. The season runs through the end of October.

Player Oracio Martinez said, "It was very competitive. We won. I feel good because I gave it my all."

Another youth, Fernando Ramirez, said, "I played really good. I scored three goals. We won. The first half was okay, but the second half we dominated."

"I love playing the sport because it's good for you. It's really fun, and it can get super intense. I've also made a lot of new friends," Ramirez added.

He has been playing soccer all his life. His advice to other kids playing soccer is, "Take your time, calm down, do your best and be super confident in yourself."

Sergio Ramirez is a soccer coordinator. He hopes that everybody has a good time and is safe for the season. "Have a great time and enjoy the game."

It is his third year as a coordinator. "The most rewarding thing is seeing the kids improve their soccer skills and seeing their faces light up."

Coach Isaiah Barboza said the kids learn team building, confidence and leadership. "That is something they can use throughout their lives."

"What I love best about coaching is being able to help the kids and teach them soccer. My goal is that they learn something new about the sport and peak their interest in the game."

Another coach, Ernesto Lopez, explained why he enjoys his role, "I played as a kid and that helped me a lot. I remember the coaches I used to have. They were a big influence on me, and I want to pass some of what I learned to the kids."

It's a family affair for Lopez, with his wife Veronica also helping. She said, "We make a really good team. We sacrifice a lot for the family, and that makes it meaningful. For the players, it's memories they'll be able to keep for many years."

Eduardo Campos says he coaches because "I have fun with the kids teaching them what I already know and the mistakes I've made so they don't make the same mistakes."

"It keeps them physically active, and that's important because in the U.S., there are a lot of cases of obesity. These kids playing soccer makes a difference in their health for the better."

Sergio Gonzalez, a Wasco code enforcement officer, came to see his nine-year-old son and twelve-year-old daughter.

"I encourage them to play because it's an amazing opportunity for exercise and family time. They've been playing since they were three. Soccer has always been a way to show great spirit."

The WRPD youth basketball starts soon, and registration is open until Monday, Oct. 16. Register online at or visit the office at 1280 Poplar Ave. For more information, call 661-758-3081.


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