Category Archives: YOUTH SPORTS

Sporting Lee’s Summit players experience European soccer

Sporting Lee's Summit in Madrid

JANUARY 2016 – Among the important keys in developing young professional athletes is an opportunity to see how the world’s best and brightest play their craft, which also holds true of young soccer prodigies. A handful of Sporting Lee’s Summit players had a unique opportunity to witness world-class soccer up close and personal when they traveled to Madrid, Spain, visiting storied Real Madrid Academy, one of the world’s oldest and most acclaimed clubs.

The trip is part of SLS’ push to increase international exposure for our players. This initiative began in 2012 with the emergence of both British and Brazilian youth soccer camps hosted at Legacy Park.

Sporting KC Academy lifts U15 trophy

Sporting-Academy

NOVEMBER 2015 – The future of soccer in America is bright, and nowhere in America is it brighter than in Kansas City.

The growth of youth soccer in the area is shown in the rise of youth organizations like Heartland Soccer – the largest youth soccer organization in the United States – and the opening of world-class facilities such as Swope Soccer Village.

One highlight of this growth came this summer when Sporting KC Academy won the U15 championship

Sporting Lee’s Summit moves forward into 2016

Sporting-LS

NOVEMBER 2015 – One of the oldest and largest soccer clubs in the state, Sporting Lee’s Summit is
an all-inclusive, year-round program for kids from 3 to 63.

Founded as the Lee’s Summit Soccer Association in 1992 with 55 teams and about 600 players, the club has grown to include 4,300 players in their recreational division and another 2,100 players in their spring and fall competitive division.

The club was the 14th program to join Sporting KC, becoming Sporting Lees Summit (Sporting LS) in January.

The club also hosts a wide variety of training camps, participates in Sporting KC Academy and includes a well-regarded special-needs program.

“We do a lot of fun things here,” said Sporting LS president Ron Cox. “It starts at age three and it goes all the way through to adult.

Kansas City Ice Center prepares traveling teams

hockey-travel

SEPTEMBER 2015 – Just because you are not good enough today, cut from your team, does not mean you won’t make it tomorrow. Michael Jordan played on his high school junior varsity basketball team as a sophomore.

That’s what Dean Nelson and his colleagues with the Kansas City Youth Hockey Association (KCYHA) remind youngsters who tried out—unsuccessfully—for traveling teams for this fall and winter. With the merger of the youth hockey organizations from around the metro area, the traveling teams have all been combined and there are fewer spots to fill.

Merger of youth hockey programs in KC showing benefits

Youth-Hockey-Merger

AUGUST 2015 – Nearly six months after the merger between the two largest youth hockey programs on opposite sides of the state line was announced, things are progressing nicely. The biggest effect so far happens early this month as the Kansas City Youth Hockey Association (KCYHA) will hold its first combined tryout for the traveling teams.

The KCYHA—the new name for the combined effort—will hold tryouts August 13-16 at the Kansas City Ice Center. The KCIC is the home of the Kansas City Stars youth program in Shawnee. The next week, the Independence Events Center, the home of the Missouri Mavericks ECHL team and the Junior Mavs youth program, will host the second round of tryouts.

Former Chief Deron Cherry: A Futbol Ambassador

Soccer-Cherry

AUGUST 2015 – Kansas City sports fans recognize the name Deron Cherry. After all, Cherry starred as a Chiefs free safety for more than a decade, earning All-Pro honors six times and was named to the NFLs all-decade team for the 1980s.  In 1995, he became a part-owner of the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars, thereby becoming the first NFL minority owner.

It is in a different kind of football, however, where Cherry has garnered new recognition. While he still enjoys American football, futbol – or soccer – has become his passion, and Cherry has his family to thank for that.

Coaching or managing a team isn’t for everyone

Coaching

AUGUST 2015 – From age seven to 37, I played baseball under the guidance of dozens of coaches and managers.  From age 7 to 22, I played as an amateur, and then, after I signed my first pro contract with the Washington Senators in 1971, I played 16 years as a professional, including under Royals Hall of Fame manager Dick Howser. I would like to offer some personal views on the subject of coaching and/or managing.

Heartland Soccer builds capable, strong referees

JULY 2015 – In every soccer match there are actually three teams taking the field. There are the two teams most people immediately recognize – those competing to score more goals than the other.

There is also a third team made up of referees.

Although often unnoticed until they don’t perform well, the referee team is just as important to the match as either of the other teams. 

The dangers for one sport athletes

one-sport-athletes

JULY 2015 – In today’s world of ultra-competitive children’s athletics, there is more and more pressure on parents and kids to begin specializing in one sport at a very young age.  While it may seem like choosing one sport and sticking with it will give an athlete an advantage, we are finding out more and more specialization does not necessarily lead to better performance.

In addition, it also puts these young athletes at much higher risk of injury. 

Future is bright for youth hockey at Kansas City Ice Center

KCIC-ice-skaters

JULY 2015– Four years ago, Dean Nelson came to Kansas City from Rochester, Minn., to be the assistant manager of the Kansas City Ice Center. From one hockey hotbed to another, right?

Not so much.

But in four years, Nelson has changed the way hockey is viewed, especially by the youth in the area, nearly doubling the number of kids involved in the game in Johnson County.