Gusty winds did not stop gutsy young soccer players from kicking off their spring season Saturday morning.
The chilled weather kept hundreds of boys and girls on many different fields running and kicking up grass at the Southside Sports Complex along Regal Street near 46th Avenue.
“It’s only a little cold – it could be worse,” Jim Manske boasted as he watched No. 10, his 8-year-old son, Logan, play his fifth season of soccer with the nonprofit Spokane Youth Soccer Association. His team was losing, but the season is young and warmer weather is on the way.
Parents lined the fields, huddled for warmth but enthusiastically cheering for their children. Some wrapped themselves in winter coats as others took shelter in small tents from the wind in the 40-degree weather.
“It’s not raining anymore,” parent Stephanie Jones said. “That’s what I was praying for last night.”
Coach Shawn Peroff said his team, the Cherry Bombs, won 5-3, but said they don’t officially keep score in their league.
“But of course the girls like to keep track of their wins,” Peroff said. His 8-year-old daughter, Cadence Peroff, helped him remember the score as she chewed on her post-game snack.
Cadence said she scored four of the goals, but that wasn’t her favorite part. “I have a really good coach,” she said.
Peroff has coached his team for about five years. The 8- and 9-year-old girls stayed strong through the tough elements, although Peroff said the wind is extra distracting for them. There were a few snowflakes as well.
The spring session is a continuation of the fall season after a winter break. There are games for children of all ages.
This is the last season for Paul Ainsworth’s 7-year-old twin boys to play on a co-ed team. Next year, the boys and girls go their separate ways for the first time since preschool.
“It’s getting a bit more difficult for the girls as the boys get a bit bigger,” Ainsworth said.
Ainsworth is always anxious to see the Silver Swords score, but he described Saturday’s score as “a lot to one.”