The Warwick Fire Fighters Soccer Club has become the state's largest youth soccer organization and was looking forward to kicking off another spring season this month. However, like all other leagues, the COVID-19 crisis has delayed
The Warwick Fire Fighters Soccer Club has become the state’s largest youth soccer organization and was looking forward to kicking off another spring season this month.
However, like all other leagues, the COVID-19 crisis has delayed the start date until further notice, forcing Warwick youth soccer players to hang tight and make the most of the situation.
“My kids play on multiple teams, they play the game as much as they can. It’s been sad, the practices, the teams that they’re on, the parents, we’re all one big family. It almost feels like missing your family since it’s been the same group of people for a couple of years now,” said Nicole Guyon, a WFFSC coach and mother of three kids in the program. “Right now we have had the kids just playing in the backyard with each other. I have three kids so they at least have each other. We have been trying our best to get them outside and to be active, but we can’t go anywhere, all we can do is have them play in the backyard.”
Nicole’s sons, Grady and Jackson, are sad to not be able to hit the field and see their friends.
“I feel sad, I miss my friends on my soccer team. We haven’t talked much, I’ve only talked to them on our video games,” said Grady.
“It’s sad because soccer is my favorite sport. I still play it outside a little, but I miss my friends and scoring,” added Jackson.
Their older sister Lily, who is in eighth grade, also misses playing and is upset to not be able to make the most of her final season before she tries out for high school in the fall.
“I’ve missed it, I miss the practices and the games. My coaches send me drills to work on at home, but I miss it. I miss seeing my friends the most, but I love playing. This year was (going to be) big since next year I am going to try out for the high school team. Now I may not be able to play before then,” said Lily.
Steve Carreiro, another WFFSC coach and parent, has been in contact with members of his team throughout the crisis and feels for the players.
“It’s been really tough on the kids. We have a team chat, and a lot of them have been asking whether or not we are going to play again. The thing is, when you are used to practicing multiple times during the week then playing games on the weekends, they miss that, they have a lot of friendships and bonds. This is the first time for them that they have not been able to play,” said Carreiro.
Although Carreiro and WFFSC hope to hit the field as soon as possible, player safety will continue to be the top priority as the weeks pass.
“We need to follow the guidelines, and (Warwick Fire Fighters Soccer President) Doyle Byrd has been adamant about us not meeting and having kids practice on their own. It’s up in the air right now, we’re hoping for late May but we just don’t know,” said Carreiro. “I have told the boys that even if we need to organize some summer tournaments with other local teams like Cranston and East Greenwich then we will do that. But their health and safety is what is most important, we can’t risk it.”