Youth soccer season opens

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The first night of games in the Craig Parks and Recreation Youth Soccer League was a new start for more than the players.

"It is going to be fun and challenging," said Kyle Larmey, who shadowed referee Chris James for two games. "I coached indoor soccer, but being a referee is different."

There weren't any major complaints about the officials in the 10-and-younger game that James, a 2004 graduate of Moffat County High School, and Larmey refereed. But there was a lot of action.

"We have some guys who kick the ball hard," said Morgan Shrum of a green team that came up with the name the Bad Dogs before the game. "They kicked it and it hit my hand. It hurt for a while."

Bryant Cox, a member of the brown team called the Bobs -- apparently their coach calls everybody Bob -- said he learned that he was good at some positions and not at others.

Substitutions were plenty during the game as the coaches tried to get everybody playing time as well as see where players like Cox fit in best. Overall the Bobs had a more successful night with six goals to the Bad Dogs' none. The 10-and-younger age group is where winning starts to matter. At least that is the way it sounded after the game.

"I think they were making fun of us," was one line from a Bad Dogs player after the teams shook hands.

"That's OK we'll beat them next time," was a teammate's reply.

Still, nothing takes away the sting of a loss or of a soccer ball like a snack after the game.

"We take winning seriously," said Maury Mirante of the Bobs. "But it's still nice to have something to eat after the game."

When the two teams came together after the game for an interview it was even more obvious than watching from afar that the light brown shirts of the Bobs and the sea green shirts of the Bad Dogs were similar in shade.

Almost all of the players agreed that they passed to the wrong team at least once because of the color similarities.

"We'll figure out who our teammates are later so it won't matter as much," said Amber Forquer of the Bad Dogs, who was playing in her first soccer game ever. "(Soccer is) fun but confusing," she said.

While the shirt colors were hard to differentiate, the Bad Dogs could tell where teammate Mikey Story was at all times. His brand new, bright red Mohawk was cut and dyed fresh for the first game. "They call me rooster," he said. "I just wanted to do it for fun."

Story's rooster-esque hairdo and the Bad Dogs have another month to improve with the season running until Aug. 14.

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