Soccer program comes to middle schools

First games to be played early 2019

The school year is always full of anticipation and excitement, particularly for the athletic programs of St. Charles Parish’s public schools — and there will be a new addition to that mix.

For the first time, St. Charles Parish will offer a soccer program for its middle schools, a move school district spokeswoman Stevie Crovetto said was another step in maintaining a well-rounded school system while also upgrading.

“It’s a testament to our commitment to academics, athletics and the arts that we are expanding our athletic offerings for middle school students,” Crovetto said.

The first games are schedule to be played in early 2019.

Kade Rogers, athletic director of St. Charles Parish public schools, said he’s eager to see it launch into action, particularly as a former soccer player himself during his prep days.

“It’s exciting for sure,” Rogers said. “We want to provide an environment where our middle school athletes have the same opportunities of our high school athletes. It’s a chance to build a good, strong foundation to provide a quality product once they get to high school, so we can continue to compete.”

Rogers credited former public schools athletic director Willie Wise with initiating the process for making the middle school program a reality.

“He started this way back,” Rogers said. “The opportunity wasn’t there for the middle school students in our district to play soccer for our schools … We’ve had discussions with the St. Charles soccer association, they’ll be involved and providing us some coaches as well.

“Willie and Johnny (Rome) went to the board, said we want to do this, and they gave us full support.”

Rogers said the middle schools will have the chance to play at the high school fields at Destrehan and Hahnville respectively, something he thinks will create a bit of additional buzz.

“It’s the chance for them to see what they’ll be playing on in future years,” Rogers said. “That’s something that’ll get them excited as well.”

Rogers said that while the attention of most is directed onto high school athletics, he said he plans to put major emphasis on middle school athletics as well as his tenure begins, and he sees the soccer program as a great boon for that effort.

“I like to compare it to the MLB,” Rogers said. “You have your minor leagues where players work, grow and build a foundation that allows them to perform at a high level once they head to the majors. We can’t forget our middle schools.”

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