The soccer games – kids in constant motion – Muleshoe Journal

Alice’s Note: This story first appeared on my blog, The Bright Lights of Muleshoe, on April 28, 2022. I had no idea we have so many local kids involved in soccer; maybe you don’t either. So I thought I’d share it with you.

Last Saturday I stumbled across a bunch of soccer games. Kids were running all over the place chasing balls! I was intrigued, so I figured I’d find out how this all came about.

Well, it seems that back in 2016, Raul Mata was looking for sports for his kids and signed them up to play football in the Clovis League. what they did Then 2020 happened and the world closed. When his son asked if he could play in autumn 2020, Raul admitted he didn’t know if that would happen because of Covid.

Raul spoke to some other parents about starting a league in Muleshoe and posted about it on Facebook. He received positive feedback, scheduled a meeting, and provided a good crowd. That got the ball rolling, no pun intended – or maybe it did! Sponsors were lined up, equipment ordered and the Panhandle Youth Soccer League was born. The goals of the independent league are to provide children with opportunities to play sports, learn about football and, most importantly, have fun.

Muleshoe boys and girls make up the bulk of the players, but Sudan, Lazbuddie, Farwell, Bovina and Springlake-Earth also feature on the teams. Teams are divided into age groups: 3 1/2 to 4; Pre-K and Kindergarten; first and second class; third and fourth grade; fifth and sixth grade. The league started the season with about 260 kids making up 28 teams. That’s a lot of little bodies running back and forth after that ball! The games last about an hour with four 15-minute quarters depending on the ages of the children. Pre-K and Kindergarten play 15-minute halves, first and second graders play 20-minute halves, third and fourth graders play 25-minute halves, and fifth and sixth graders play 30-minute halves.

Raul Mata is sort of the executive president of the organization, but he laughed when I asked for a list of officers because everyone is just doing what is necessary. But some of the parents he named were Beverly, his wife, James and Heather Hancock, Monse and Marybeth Melendez, Dr. Mark and Jenelyn Summers, Wally and Rose Guerra, Raul Muniz and Veronica Munez.

The day starts early, Heather told me, when several parents show up at 7:30 a.m. to mark the fields with sponsors, raise flags, and set things up. Games start at 9am with the last one at 1:30pm so it’s an all day affair. Food trucks are always available, some of them are sponsors and take turns providing treats to fans and players.

Twenty-one local sponsors are providing team tees and gear: Sweet Bran, Prairie View Dairy, L&L Pallet, Muleshoe Animal Clinic, M4 Hoof Trimming, Regalado Construction, Newton Appliance, Muleshoe Feed Barn, Rancho El Zacatecas, Eevolve, Muleshoe Housing Authority , Patty Hartline/Primehome Real Estate, Pop’ Country Smoke, Antojitos Locos #crazycravings, Shipman’s Autoplex & Bodyshop, JR’s Welding and Sprinkler Repair, O&C Erection, Jettfire BBQ, Circle Bar 12, Carbon Hydrographic Garage and Western Equipment.

Each team has a trainer who also helps recommend games when their teams aren’t playing, and some of these trainers have two teams! Jenelyn Summers, Raul Mata, Curtis Hensley, Aubrianna Ray, Jessica Maudling, Ezra Herrera, Malachi Samarron, Lupe Campos, Alyssa Hurtado, Shannon Mosler, Jimmy Villa, David Sturdivant, Skyler Haney, Mercedes Salas, Jesus Tovar, Felipe Guerrero, James Hancock , Mario Zaragoza, Brittany Sanchez, Raul Muniz, Rosemary Estraca, Gene Maulding, Alejandra Martinez and Astrid Acevedo take on coaching and refereeing duties and lend a hand when other things need to be done.

They have a fall season beginning in September and a spring season ending this year on Saturday April 30th in the open field at the south end of Main Street where the old Boy Scout cabin used to stand.

So if you need some entertainment on Saturday 30th, grab your lounge chair and head to the football games. Championship games are played at the end of the season.

And then the ball changes; It’s baseball season! But don’t tell Callum Summers. He likes his football.

Thanks to Raul Mata, Nellie Zaragoza, Heather Hancock and LeAnn Gallman for their help with this story.

For more action shots of the day, see www.alicetiles.com .

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