With fall sports on hold, SYAA is giving football players a chance to develop their skills for spring.
The Suffolk Athletic Association runs an academy on Saturdays and two weekday evenings to help students maintain their football skills at its location near King’s Fork Road.
“We’re just here to practice,” said Vito Basile, academy organizer and SYAA coach. “Since our fall season was canceled due to COVID, this is the next best thing, and I’m glad we were able to do it.”
Basile had the idea for the members of SYAA. This academy lasts for eight weeks and aims to give students a chance to work on technical skills that will continue on the pitch once a real season starts over. According to Basile, the coaches want to help the students develop and give them as many resources as possible in this “Plan B” scenario.
“Children get a lot from it,” says Basile. “They’ve been locked inside for so long that they need to. We are outside in the open air, which limits the risks.
COVID-19 precautions have been put in place to ensure the safety of athletes during the academy. Small groups are spread over several sites to minimize contact. Parents are asked to stay in their car as well to limit gatherings. Temperatures are checked when walking in the fields.
The academy starts at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday evenings for ages five to eight and Thursdays for ages nine to thirteen. On Saturdays all ages go out, including the three to four year old group.
“We’re nervous with the uncertainty of it all, but excited,” Basil said. “We hope people will know the importance of this academy. There has been a great turnout so far. Totally happy to do this.
SYAA plans to resume a normal schedule for spring 2021. Registrations will open in January. Visit suffolksyaa.com/soccer for more information.