by Lisa Tome
After listening to him critique her soccer playing for years, Courtney Forman decided to get her Dad in the game.
"I begged my Dad to coach. He said he would do it if no one else signed up by a certain date," said Courtney Forman.
Forman, who is a seventh grader at Perryville Middle School, wanted to play on the start up middle school girls team.
But her father, Kevin, already has a lot on his plate. Kevin is a math teacher at Perryville High meaning that there are assignments to grade. But he's also the assistant band director at the school.
"Dad leads the percussion for the band. And he has his students. And now he's doing Halloween lights at our house. But I feel good about this. I wanted him to be the coach. But he'll be here and I'll call him dad and have to correct myself," she said. "If I didn't have soccer I don't know what I'd do."
"I'm trying to stay organized," Kevin Forman said. "It's all about time management and scheduling. I have a schedule worked out."
On Thursday's first practice for middle school athletics at Perryville Middle, Forman and Kathryn Johnson, who is coaching the boys soccer team, hosted practice inside the gym due to heat. Because of the large students interested in earning a slot on the team, they opted to have tryouts with the female players on Thursday and the boys on Friday.
While Forman is new to coaching soccer, Johnson played on the Perryville High team a dozen years ago. She also coached in the Middle School Movers, intermural soccer program.
"I am excited. It will be a trial period. We had 90 kids sign up. I'll be interested to see if that amount show up. This high demand (to play), I wasn't expecting that," said Johnson.
"We have 20 uniforms for each team. But we can keep a few (players) over that. We want to rotate kids in and out," said Johnson.
The boys and girls teams will travel together on the same bus to contests at the other Cecil middle schools. There will be five home games and five away games.
"I am excited. This is a great opportunity for the kids and for us. We can build other relationships through this interest with the kids," said Johnson. It will also encourage students academically, because there will be grade requirements to meet in order to play.
More than 40 girls signed up for the school's girls team. That roster of players will be whittled down. The girls were optimistic.
Seventh grader Joliet Stone has never played organized sports before.
She hoped to make the team.
"I kind of like soccer. I played it in gym and liked it. I don't have skills but I'm trying my best," Stone said.
"I've been in gymnastics, but I've never made a team. My brother is in little soccer. I've played it at home, but playing it in front of other people, I kind of get scared," said eighth grader Kamryn Gladfelter.
Brianna Barrett, also an eighth grader, is a soccer fan. "I love it I play at home and at school. It's my favorite sport. I'm not that good but I'm going to try anyway," said Barrett.