April 15th, 2011

Deanery League Finds Growth In 6th Year

Sarah Newell

CSN Staff Writer

Deanery League Finds Growth In 6th Year
photo courtesy of Lisa Reger

Southern Indiana soccer league teaching kids the right way

While kids may learn from a young age how important it is to win in sports, the Southern Indiana Deanery Soccer Ministry League chooses to reinforce a different route with the student athletes.

“There is no official winner,” said parent and coach Greg Reger. "This is for the kids to have fun and spend time with friends. It’s the perfect league because competitive players can relax, and other classmates, that otherwise may not have played soccer, can come out and play.”

In its sixth year, Southern Indiana’s Deanery Soccer League is open for play to Catholic parish members in grades 3-8. Reger, along with a group of other parents, helped jumpstart the league so the kids could play within their school parishes.

“My daughter, Jordan, had played at YMCA, and when she was in the 3rd grade, a group of us put together a team for our school, Our Lady of Perpetual Help,” said Reger.

From there, more excitement and involvement spiraled throughout the parishes, and thus, the league formed.

Now, according to Providence High School Director of Admissions and Head Varsity Girls Soccer Coach Dave Smith, there are at least ten local parishes represented in the league.

“The league was extremely well received from the beginning,” said Smith. “It’s a fun league for exercise and fellowship, and it has a mix of skilled players and new players. It allows friends to help one another in soccer, and if the kids want to move on with it, it opens the idea to play competitive soccer.”

Reger’s daughter, Jordan, is one just example of a student whom went from the league to competitive play. Now, an eighth grader at OLPH, she is a member of the Indiana Soccer Olympic Development Program State Team Pool.

“She developed because she had interest in soccer,” said Reger. “Jordan played in the league, and then she went onto play for the Net-Surfers.”

Lisa Reger, Jordan’s mother, also says the league fosters a positive environment for Jordan and the other students on the field, no matter what the students’ skill levels may be.

“Jordan loves the league because she can be with her friends,” said Lisa. “She knows the other kids from school, and its her time to do what she does. It’s also great because the parents know one another and get to spend time together.”

Reger added that he hopes the league will be maintained in its recreational form for years to come.

“It’s a coed league, and that’s unique to other sports, and it’s a ministry so it’s run like a ministry. We pray before games, and I hope it will continue to grow. This league brings the parishes together.”

In addition to the parishes coming together for game times, Smith says the high school student players whom come out to help coach add an extra element of role models into the mix.

“It’s a thrill for an eight year old or ten year old to learn from a high school player who can perform the skills,” said Smith. “It’s a great learning opportunity.”

And Lisa says that as the young players grow up and move into high school, the league is a stepping-stone to success in sports and life done the right way.

Said Lisa: “Jordan’s passion is soccer, and for the younger ones, the deanery offers a chance for them to ask, ‘Is this a sport I can do?’ The league is not really intense, and I hope that it will be maintained as it is now with the kids enjoying time with others classmates.”

For a complete look at this year’s schedule, visit: http://www.nadyouth.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Soccer-3rd-8th-2011.pdf


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