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South Jersey Soccer:
Girl's Youth Soccer Booming in Blackwood

Sunday, October 27, 2002

By Mike Costantino
SJSports Staff Writer

As a kid growing up in South Philly, soccer was not a sport played by many, but today both boys and girls are participating at all ages. In Blackwood, the Highland Youth Soccer program has kids from age 6 and up, boys and girls, beginners and experienced all gathering on the weekend to play a game that is becoming more popular each year, soccer. This past Sunday the Sharpeis played the Akitas, a battle of 7 and 8 year old girls. At this age level, the coaches are on the field to instruct the kids, and to point them in the right direction.

Neither team was able to score. The Akitas seem to have more chances, but Sharpei defenseman Carlie Baker and goalkeeper Anna DeMarco held their ground. The outcome is not the most important thing, so says Coach Scott Sheldrick. "This is the first time these kids have participated in an organized sport and as long as they know where to go and don't get hurt getting there that's the important thing". Coach Sheldricks' daughter Tayler is on the team and when asked what she enjoyed most about playing she said, "The snacks after the game". Sounds like Tayler was also born in South Philly.

Photos by Joanne Costantino

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