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VSO numbers booming on eve of kickoff

[9/14/01]Vicksburg Soccer Organization is rebuilding from the bottom up.

The league, which kicks off Saturday morning, got a big boost in numbers this year, especially at the under-8 level, and several field improvements.

VSO has almost 600 players this year in age divisions between under-6 and under-19, past president Craig Fischenich said.

“We had just under 500 players total last year,” Fischenich said.

The under-8s have increased from six boys teams and four girls teams to 11 boys teams and 10 girls teams this year, he said.

“It’s remarkable,” Fischenich said. “We have about a 20 percent increase.

“We’re trying to rebuild and we were hoping for a 5 to 7 percent increase.

“This just blew us away.”

He attributed the increase in the under-8 division to some changes that were made last year. Only four players per team instead of eight are on the field at one time and there are no goalkeepers.

“More people get a chance to touch the ball … there’s more action,” Fischenich said.

“The kids just had a great time last year and I guess they told their friends, This is fun,’ ” Fischenich said, adding that his wife, Lisa, distributed numerous fliers last year.

There are a total of 43 teams this year, up from 35 last year, and there will also be more lighted fields, VSO president Chuck Tate said.

“We’re adding lights and getting power run to them now,” Tate said Thursday.

He said VSO spent $20,000 of its money and got about $35,000 from the county to do various upgrades at the Bovina Soccer Complex.

Three wells were drilled for irrigation and others were regraded and planted.

Twelve full fields are ready now and another is divided into four for the younger players.

On a typical Saturday after this week until the first weekend of November, there will be eight to 10 games between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Fischenich said none of the teams will have their uniforms Saturday. They were supposed to be flown in from California, but Tuesday’s terrorist attacks delayed the flight.

Fischenich said the league’s goal is to continue trying to boost the numbers for soccer, especially in the city.

“We’re trying to promote it in town, particularly to the disadvantaged,” promote said. “We’re going to talk to the mayor and maybe get a field in Kings.”