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Keeping the soccer ball rolling

With fall sports on hold, SYAA is giving soccer players a chance to develop their skills for the spring.

The Suffolk Athletic Association is hosting an academy on Saturdays and two weeknights to help students maintain their soccer skills at its location off King’s Fork Road.

“We are just out here running practices,” said Vito Basile, the organizer of the academy and coach for SYAA. “Since canceling our fall season due to COVID, this is the next best thing, and I’m glad we could do it.”

Basile came up with the idea for the members of SYAA. This academy runs for eight weeks and aims to give the students a chance to work on technical skills that will carry onto the field once a real season starts again. According to Basile, the coaches want to help the students develop and give them as many resources as they can in this “Plan B” scenario.

“The kids are getting a lot out of it,” said Basile. “They’ve been bottled up inside for so long that they need this. We are outside in the open air, which limits the risks.”

COVID-19 precautions were put into place to keep the athletes safe during the academy. Small groups are spread out on several fields to keep contact to a minimum. Parents are asked to stay in their cars also to limit gathering. Temperatures are checked when walking onto the fields.

The academy starts at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday nights for ages five to eight and Thursdays for ages nine to thirteen. On Saturdays, all ages come out including the three to four age group.

“We are nervous with the uncertainty of it all but excited,” said Basile. “We are hoping that people will know the importance of this academy. There’s been a great turnout so far. Totally happy to be doing this.”

SYAA plans to resume a normal schedule for Spring 2021. Registration will open in January. Check suffolksyaa.com/soccer for more information.