Rec soccer draws kids outside in Fort Kent

FORT KENT, Maine — The fall outdoor recreation soccer program is still popular in Fort Kent. 

Parks and recreation director Ann Beaulieu said the number of children from pre-kindergarten to sixth grade who enrolled in the program this year is on par with enrollment numbers over the past five years. 

“We’re maintaining,” Beaulieu said. “It’s important to get kids out in the fresh air for exercise, socialization, to destress them and because it’s just plain fun to play. They’ve been in hibernation for six months.” 

The Pee Wee program, which serves children ages pre-kindergarten to second grade, saw 106 registrations this year compared to 103 in 2019. The grades three through six program has 84 registrants compared to 86 last year. 

Mali Samuels practices a goal kick during a Fort Kent Pee Wee soccer game. (Jessica Potila | St. John Valley Times)

Plenty of children registered for the Fort Kent Parks and Rec Pee Wee soccer program this year. From left, are, Emmie Caron, Landon Roy and Mali Samuels. (Jessica Potila | St. John Valley Times)

Beaulieu said the program would not be possible without the support of the volunteer coaches composed of parents and even a few high school students. 

“All the volunteers make this happen in this community; it’s all freebie labor,” Beaulieu said. 

Travis Duval coaches the Pee Wee players on Team Fire, including his daughter, Ella Duval.  

“I volunteer for the program because I feel it important to get kids involved in sports at a young age,” Duval said. “I believe that it helps them to become well rounded adults. It’s a ton of fun to watch them from when they first start in pre-K to their last year/game with this program in second grade.”

There will be no Round Robin playoff tournament this year and coaches are working to keep children as separate as possible with a no touching rule, including no high-fives allowed to minimize risk of COVID-19 exposure among the players. 

Beaulieu said Mother Nature has cooperated so far this soccer season with warm temps and that she is optimistic about the weather forecast for the coming weeks. 

“This is wonderful; it’s so nice not to have to wear mittens, bonnets and ski jackets,” Beaulieu said.  

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