Fort Bragg youth sports holds opening day ceremony
Angry Birds junior co-ed soccer team marches onto the noncommissioned officer Academy field, Saturday, during youth services sports and fitness Spring opening day. More than 1100 youth are participating in sports such as lacrosse, soccer track and field, boys and girls softball and T-ball baseball this year.

More than 1100 youth are participating in youth sports this spring on Fort Bragg, which would not been possible without the dedication of parents, coaches, volunteers and Fort Bragg officials.

For the Spring dedication, Col. Stephen Sicinski, Fort Bragg Garrison commander, said the Spring opening day, which took place Saturday at the NCO Academy Field, was a day of many, many thanks.

Fort Bragg added the Linden Oaks contingency to the youth sports line up, and it increased the numbers over last year from 821 to 1173 participants, said Adam Huffman, the director of Child, Youth and School Services Sports and Fitness Department, charged with overseeing youth sports on the installation.

According to Huffman, for the first time, individual sports such as lacrosse and track and field have been introduced.

"They've done a phenomenal job of adding new sports," Sicinski said during the ceremony. "It is my hope that this will be the seed to get lacrosse booming…"

Each person involved in youth sports plays an active role in the lives of young people.
To the coaches, Sicinski said, "You are the role models that our children look up to in their daily lives."

Sicinski also administered the Special Olympics motto, which has become a sort of athlete's oath -- "'Let me win. But, if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.'"

For Jonathan Boggs, a Fort Bragg Soldier and the father of three sons, sports seems to be a no-brainer.

"It gives them good social skills; teaches them how to share and not to be selfish and it teaches them independence," said Boggs, whose sons, Jake, 5 and Adam, 4, play T-ball and soccer respectively on Fort Bragg teams.

Boggs' wife, Malea agrees.
"It gives them morals," Malea said. "Every boy loves playing sports."
It's an ideal with which Melinda Leach concurs.
Her sons; Marquise, 11, a lacrosse player, and Matthew, 8, a soccer player, are taking part in youth sports this year.

"It's (sports) awesome, and it's local in that it's right here," Leach said. "They have fun."
Marquise, who is playing lacrosse for the first time, said he is learning a lot of skills from his coaches.

"It's a fun and awesome sport. I get to check people (attempt to dislodge the ball from an opponent's stick), and you have to girdle (a defensive way of holding the ball in the stick)," Marquise said.

Does he plan to play again next year?
"Yes, because I like everybody on my team," Marquise said enthusiastically.

All youth who participate in sports on Fort Bragg must have a current sports physical on file and be registered with CYSS.

For more information, visit youth sports, located on the fifth floor of the Soldier Support Center, (Building 4-2843 Normandy Drive).

Patrons can also log on to www.fortbraggmwr.com/cyss/youth-sports/ or call 908-2619.

Page last updated Fri April 27th, 2012 at 00:00