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YMCA league offers adults time for fun

MORRIS – After a long week at work, adults need a place to unwind on the weekend and have something to look forward to.

The Morris area YMCA has started an adult soccer league this summer under the direction of Morris Community High School soccer coach David Valdivia's guidance.

"As competitive as Morris is with sports, this gives people a place to come out and compete," Valdivia said.

The league holds games each Sunday at the Shabbona Middle School track in Morris.

Justin Crowther, a Morris high school soccer player, can be found on the field each Sunday keeping in shape and practicing his game in the off season. He heard about the league through his coach.

Unlike the high school team, the YMCA teams do not practice during the week, instead they just show up and play.

"It has some different rules than we have in high school soccer," Crowther said after his game Sunday. "It's not as formal and is more laid back."

He said in high school soccer when you get a yellow card you are out, in this league you are still in the game, but the basics are still the same.

Valdivia said the laid back atmosphere of the games is exactly what this league is about.

"As adults, life can become mundane," he said. "This gives them something to look forward to."

Some of the players in the league Valdivia coaches are still in high school, but others are just adults looking to play the game they love.

Edward Kazirkis recently moved to the area from Ottawa and was excited to find a soccer league he could play in, he's been playing most of his life.

"It's really good to get out here and play," he said. "When I first signed up there were only four teams, now we're up to six."

He said he can see the program growing and he thinks it's up and coming for the area.

Kazirkis said through the program he's gotten to know Valdivia and hopes to be volunteering at the high school with their soccer program.

The six teams rotate who they play each Sunday with games starting at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.

The season started May 4 and is scheduled to go until June 22 when they will hold their championship game.

Teams are from Morris and Coal City, and some are sponsored by local businesses like Tobby's Mexi-Mart and restaurant, which is owned by Valdivia's family.

YMCA program director Ken Iverson said the league appears to be growing and he hopes as word gets out it will only get bigger.

The YMCA has been active in the Morris area for eight years now and offers summer camps and youth leagues, as well.

With plans to develop new programs and eventually build a facility of its own, the Morris YMCA hired a full-time operations director, Missy Durkin who started in January.

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