Middle school soccer program approved by Perry School Board

Perry High School has a successful soccer program. Photo courtesy PCSD

Perry High School has a successful soccer program, including qualifying for state competition in 2017. Photo courtesy PCSD

The Perry School Board approved a boys and girls middle school soccer program Monday after parents and students spoke of the strong support in the community for the new activity.

“A lot of students in Perry love soccer,” said PHS junior Katlyn Delp-Leber, “but when they get to middle school, they are not able to play unless they join a club sports team, and some of them cannot afford it or to drive to Des Moines to play.”

High school head coaches Gary Overla and Bo Schatzberg expressed support for the program and indicated that playing during the middle school years would lead to greater high school success and might lead to fewer injuries in high school.

“Girls in particular are more likely to have ACL injuries,” said Schatzberg, “and by playing during their middle school years, they should be able to build strong bodies that can prevent injuries.”

After several years of inactivity, the community youth soccer program has been restarted by Elsa Reyes and Marci Roth, who both pledged to continue building a feeder program for the new middle school soccer program and help raise funds for the program by reaching out to local businesses and industries.

Perry High School staff member Brenda Mintun, the mother of three Perry students, led the effort to bring a soccer program to the middle school. Mintun made a detailed proposal to the school board, whish voted unanimously to begin a soccer season starting in spring 2024.

During its inaugural season, the Perry Middle School boys and girls team will play against Des Moines public schools, the only schools in the area with middle school programs. The middle school soccer programs will join baseball, softball, e-sports, and girls high school wrestling as new activities approved by the Perry School Board over the last year.


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