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Craig Parks and Recreation soccer season ended Tuesday

Zane Cordes, 7, throws the ball in Tuesday night at Woodbury Sports Complex. Craig Parks and Recreation youth soccer ended Tuesday.

Daniel Pizano, right, fights through traffic as he attempts to score a goal. The white team lost its first game Tuesday, the last day of the Craig Parks and Recreation youth soccer season. Coach Tammy Villard said the team had a great season.

Ben Bulkeley

By BEN BULKELEY

Although the white team may have lost its first game on the last day of the season, coach Tammy Villard would hardly call the season a loss.

“This was our first loss, so it was a little devastating,” she said with a laugh. “It was a great season, though.”

Craig Parks and Recreation youth soccer season came to a close Tuesday, but the white team, of 7- and 8-year-old boys and girls, were a force to be reckoned with.

Villard said the team had two ties and no losses entering the last game.

But that wasn’t how Villard measured her team’s success.

“It was a good season because they learned sportsmanship,” she said. “They learned to play together as a team and play for fun.”

Having players come out for the sport has other benefits, Villard said.

“It burns off some energy, and they’re all here to be active,” she said. “It’s always a lot of fun when the kids want to be here.

“It makes coaching much more fun when you don’t have to force the kids to play.”

It wasn’t just players who were involved, Villard said.

“Each parent is very active when it comes to the team,” she said. “Each parent comes and cheers, or brings snacks.

“It’s definitely a family thing.”

Villard’s successful coaching secret?

“You just need to keep them busy,” she said.

Grady Anson, 8, was one of the team’s busier players.

He filled in a number of roles, but one was his favorite.

“I liked being a forward,” he said. “Because you get to run around a lot.”

During his time on the soccer field, Grady worked on his passing, dribbling and kicking skills.

But, it was still the running he enjoyed most.

“It’s good exercise,” he said. “It helps me burn off energy.”

Like Grady, Spencer Rice, 8, was a utility player on the field.

His goal was to be the catalyst.

“Yesterday, I almost scored my first goal of the season,” Spencer said. “I’m sad the season is ending because I won’t be able to score one.”

But, Spencer’s time wasn’t just trying to score goals – he also spent a game trying to prevent them.

“I was the goalie once,” he said. “It was good. I liked when someone would try to kick it in, and I caught it.

“After you catch it, you get to cherry-bomb it.”

Spencer has played soccer for more than three years and soon will turn his attention to another type of football.

“I’m excited for football to start,” he said. “But, I think I like soccer more. You get to run around and you can’t use your hands so you don’t hurt your fingers.”

Assistant coach Kyra Workman was in charge of the green team for the night.

And the results stayed the same.

“We had a pretty good season,” she said. “We went undefeated.”

Like Villard, Workman’s approach to coaching extended beyond the playing field.

“I just wanted to make sure all the kids were having fun,” she said. “You want them to work hard and have fun all the time.”

Workman has coached for three seasons on top of playing soccer for 12 years, and she said she is still learning the game.

“Coaching teaches you how to keep your attitude under control,” she said. “You can’t be mean when you’re coaching the kids, and I’m also nicer to the refs now.

“But, it’s still all about fun.”