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Wellsville Youth Summer Soccer Saved By Two Super Soccer Moms

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The shadow of Covid-19 almost claimed another victim this summer: Kids soccer. As the season approached a few notable “soccer moms” decided to take action to save summer soccer. These are not just your average moms, they are literally the “ultimate soccer moms” of Wellsville: Erica Aftuck, the Wellsville Varsity Girls Soccer coach, and Kristy McNulty, the Wellsville Modified Girls Soccer coach.

“Kristy McNulty and I found out that the normal youth soccer league WAW was not going to be happening this year (due to Covid), this would have been the second summer in a row without our soccer. As the varsity girls coach and modified girls coach we decided something had to be done. We met with the varsity boys coach Matt Buckley and the boys modified coach Colin Brown and created this Wellsville Youth Soccer,” Coach Aftuck explained.

After establishing Wellsville Youth Soccer, the dynamic duo had some logistics and planning to tackle. The work of coordinating dozens of players and families, not to mention the facilities and scheduling, is a big job. Rich Jadwin, who coordinates the Wellsville youth football program gave the soccer effort help with finding insurance and scheduling locations. The Belfast youth soccer leader Josie Preston was also a big help in adding some ‘out of town’ games to the schedule for the older players.

Aftuck and McNulty sat down and created a registration form, made some financial decisions, and started the hunt for volunteers needed. As the registrations arrived, so did the volunteers and the new Wellsville Youth Soccer became a reality and was clearly in high demand. Coach Aftuck has been pleasantly surprised:

“…Kristy and I hoped we would get 50-60 kids to play. After day 1 of signs ups (which we held up at the turf and our school coaching staff ran) we had over 60 kids. We still had 2 more days of sign ups and ended up with 168 Wellsville kids age 5-17! We were shocked, but so happy! When parents registered their children we asked for volunteer coaches, we were lucky enough to have plenty of volunteers. We held a coaches meeting to inform the parents on what skills needed to be taught, how to contact parents, and what game day set up might look like. So far the coaches have been wonderful”

Its pretty clear these are not your average moms and the community already has a great deal of trust and confidence. Because they also have young children playing youth sports, the scheduling is designed with families in mind. With a few exceptions; teams play at the same time, same place, and same days of the week. As a parent with two kids in this new league, that makes the life of all soccer families much easier. Team t-shirts have been a big challenge for other youth sports, but the McNulty-Aftuck duo had all teams outfitted for the first game.

Nearly 170 Wellsville kids will be benefitting from the hard work and experience of these two super soccer moms( who both by the way were also star WHS soccer players). Coach Aftuck provides some insight into what motivates she and Kristy:

“The Wellsville school soccer program needs summer soccer to be successful. Our goal of this youth soccer is to get kids active and to love soccer!!! I know we are just getting started but after watching games Monday and Tuesday, I feel that soccer is back in the community! Parents and athletes seem happy which is a great feeling.”

To contact Wellsville Youth Soccer just follow them on Facebook!!! If you know Erica or Kristy, tell them bravo! You can’t give a much larger gift to the community than providing a safe and healthy summer activity for kids.

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