Over 750 Wilton-based players across Wilton Soccer Association’s (WSA) recreational and competitive soccer programs are ready to take to the fields this fall.
While WSA’s competitive youth teams are set, the WSA’s recreational programs for all ages and abilities are still enrolling. The season kicks off in early September and organizers said age groups and sessions are filling fast but the program lineup offers a place for every child.
The WSA Tots and Pre-K programs are focused on fun while building physical and social skills through soccer. The Wednesday, Friday and Saturday sessions begin in September. The number of players per session is capped to ensure optimal player-to-coach ratios.
The WSA’s K-2 program is among the longest-running and most subscribed youth sports programs for boys and girls in town, with nearly 400 players and 50-plus volunteers supporting each season.
“For many young Wilton families, Saturday morning WSA K-2 soccer games can be among their favorite community-centric activities as the weather is often clear and crisp while the fields buzz with the joy of play,” Jennifer Soudagar, WSA’s volunteer program director, shared. She added that K-2 soccer is highly multi-sport- and family-friendly.
The WSA’s Junior Referee program supports the second-grade recreational league and is a first ‘job’ for many Wilton pre-teens. It acts as a feeder to future state-certified referee opportunities. Junior referees are ages 11-13 and they ref in-town games each Saturday. The program is limited to the first 40 people to register.
Next up is the Grade 3-8 recreational soccer program nicknamed ‘Just for Kicks.’ The offering serves an age group that statistically is at risk of no longer participating in physical activities for any number of reasons.
“The program was designed to offer a consistent and convenient schedule that fits amidst other activities, is all in-town and is led by professional coaches who keep it fun while developing the skills of every participant,” Steve Francia, WSA’s Grade 3-8 volunteer program director, said. This program was developed in partnership with and endorsed by the Free Play Task Force of the Wilton Youth Council.
The WSA’s TopSoccer is another invaluable program that provides players with intellectual, emotional, and/or physical challenges with a safe and fun space to play and make friends. Wilton High School senior Heather Plowright and her teammates on the WHS girls varsity soccer team lead a team of WHS ‘buddies’ from the boys and girls high school teams to deliver on the program’s mission. Sessions are Sunday afternoons in September and October and are free for all participants.
In addition to TopSoccer, many high schoolers support the broader WSA program as volunteer K-2 coaches, Pre-K/Tots helpers, and role models for younger players.
Finally, WSA’s developmental and competitive travel program continues to grow. Coach Dave Nuttall, WSA’s director of coaching, oversees more than a dozen teams this fall across the U9-U15 age groups with an optional pre-season camp the week of Aug. 22. Official first practices begin the week of Aug. 29 and the first games are scheduled shortly thereafter.
“WSA coaches focus on player and team development in a steady approach to more meaningful competition as teams advance in experience,” Nuttall said. The teams are chosen after tryouts during the preceding spring for the fall and spring seasons that follow and eventually are one of the primary feeders into the WHS soccer program.
Fall wouldn’t be complete without the annual WSA Family Picnic for the entire Wilton Soccer family, bringing together the youngest and oldest players, siblings, parents and extended family members, volunteers and coaches. This year’s event will be held Saturday, Sept. 10 from 4-6 p.m., and will again feature food, live music and lots of soccer fun. Sign-up on the WSA website is required.
WSA was founded in 1978 as a volunteer lead not-for-profit organization to promote positive growth through fun and high-quality soccer experiences. To learn more, to register for any of the programs, or to volunteer please visit the Wilton Soccer Association online. The fall season begins soon!