According to league president Bill Sherfesee, the recreation department will be hosting spring camps, summer sign-ups, and a soccer league all this year.
The upcoming soccer camps will be for boys and girls ages 4-13 on May 14, 15, 17 and 19 at the Nathan Dean Complex. The camps will be from 6-8 p.m. on May 14, 15 and 17 and on May 19 it will be from 10 a.m. until noon. Sign-up dates are from now until Friday, May 11 and children may sign-up at the Municipal Building, 316 N. Piedmont. The fee is $35 per child.
“This is about our eighth or ninth year of Rockmart soccer,” Sherfesee said. “We started out with 45 kids, but now we have over 200.”
Sherfesee said they have tried several ways of doing soccer camps, and this year they decided to do it in the spring.
“We wanted to do it before school let’s out for the summer,” Sherfesee said. “We didn’t want to interfere with vacation Bible schools or family vacations.”
Sherfesee stated that each child that attends the soccer camp will get a soccer ball at the end of the camp.
Sherfesee also noted that the recreation department is looking for volunteers to help with the upcoming youth soccer camps and the soccer season.
“We will gladly accept any and all volunteers,” Sherfesee said. “A background check with the city is required, but there is no fee for that.”
Anyone interested in volunteering, should go to the soccer field complex in Rockmart on Saturday, May 5 from 10 a.m. until noon. Those who plan on attending or who will be unable to attend should contact Sherfesee at 770-387-8597.
“I can’t emphasize how much we need volunteers,” Sherfesee said.
After the camp, the recreation department will be turning their sights to the upcoming season.
“On May 19 we will be offering an early bird discount for anyone wishing to sign-up for the season,” Sherfesee said.
Regular sign-ups will be from June 1 to July 16 with try-outs being conducted on July 16-17.
“No kids are cut,” Sherfesee said. “The try-outs are to just give the coaches an idea of who they would like to draft.”
The draft will take place July 17 and practices will start immediately.
Sherfesee noted that the season used to start the first week of September, the first Saturday after Labor Day. However, this year the season will start on Saturday, Aug. 4.
“The season will end either the last week of September or the first week of October, depending on if we have make-up games to play,” Sherfesee said.
He stated that the league moved the games up earlier this year so they could be eligible to participate in the Georgia Recreation and Parks Association (GRPA) tournaments.
“We want to have the chance to play in GRPA tournaments,” Sherfesee said. “And they are held in the middle of October. So that’s our motive, plus the regular season can be played while it’s a little bit warmer.”
Sherfesee said the goal this year is to make the league more attractive to kids.
“We had 208 entrees last year, and we’d like to break that this year,” Sherfesee said.
Another thing changing in the league this year is the age limit.
“The age limit used to be 12,” Sherfesee said. “This year they can be 13. If they turn 14 after Aug. 1 they are eligible to play this year. We will also take three-and-a-half year olds as long as they turn four by Nov. 1.”
Sherfesee knows that the success of the league has a lot to do with the help of the city.
“The City of Rockmart has done an excellent job of providing facilities and letting our league grow,” Sherfesee said.