No scorekeeping, just fun for youngsters in YMCA youth soccer league |

The scoreboard at the Santa Maria Valley YMCA outdoor soccer arena was operating Saturday, but the scores for both teams throughout the games in the morning remained at 0-0.

That’s because no scores are kept in Santa Maria Valley YMCA Youth Soccer League games. The scoreboard only kept time.

One segment of the league is for 3-to-5-year-olds. The other is for 6-to-9-year-olds.

“This is a run-and-fun league,” one coach said. “The teams get to pick their own team names.”

Just because no scores were kept didn’t mean the players didn’t get a kick out of scoring goals.

Andrea Almaguer, who plays for the Blue Thunder in the 3-to-5-year-old division, skipped away happily after she scored a goal.

A Green Dinosaurs player, Calvin, age 4, announced that he had scored “two,” goals in his team’s game against the Firecrackers. Calvin’s younger brother, Clayton, 3, also plays in the league.

Another Green Dinosaurs player, Shay Edwards, seemed pretty happy when he scored three quick goals. After one goal, Shay went over to his father, Ryan, and the two exchanged a quick, emphatic high five.

Through it all, Firecrackers coach Betsy Swain kept exhorting her players.

“Firecrackers, you’re doing great,” she told her team at halftime.

Afterward, she said this is her first year of coaching at any level.

“Oh, I love it,” she said of coaching the youngsters. “It’s so much fun.”

The YMCA’s Youth League games run each Saturday through Aug. 26 at the YMCA’s outdoor soccer arena.

Cathy Mendez, the YMCA’s Sports, Special Events and Volunteer Director, has said the arena, which is the fraction of the size of a regular soccer pitch, is enclosed by white boards and has synthetic turf, is the only one of its kind in the city.

“I would just like to say that this is an outstanding facility,” said Carol Swain, Betsy Swain’s mother. “I don’t think there’s another one like it in…

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