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Kids Ready To Get Their Kicks During Rec Soccer
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Players on the blue-clad Blackhart Dentistry team were matched up against the Micheletti Alternative Insurance Solutions squad in an early Saturday morning game during the Opening Day of competition in the Oakdale Soccer Club recreational season. Marg Jackson/The Leader

Amidst a flurry of pomp and circumstance, the whistles were blowing and the goals were being scored.

It was Opening Day for the Oakdale Soccer Club, with games starting early and running throughout the day on Saturday, Sept. 9 at the T.L. Davis Sports Complex in Oakdale. While there was a formal ceremony starting about 8:45 a.m., not everyone could attend, as some games started before then. However, a large crowd turned out for the official kickoff.

Offering the welcoming remarks was Oakdale Soccer Club (OSC) advisor and Oakdale Mayor Cher Bairos. She noted that hundreds of kids – well over 800 total – would be suiting up for the sport, with 89 teams across a variety of age divisions.

“We are thankful for each and every player, parent, coach, volunteer and sponsor who have made this season possible,” she said.

The Opening Day festivities also featured an opening prayer by Pastor Henry Raven, the presentation of the colors by local Scout Troop 43, the singing of the National Anthem by Grace Miller and several Oakdale Stampede cheerleaders were on hand to offer vocal support for the teams.

Bairos also pointed to the work done by the city’s Public Works Division in getting the fields ready for play and noted the attendance of representatives from the Oakdale Police Department, Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, Modesto Fire Department and Oak Valley Ambulance in helping make the day special. County Supervisor Buck Condit was also among the participating dignitaries.

“One thing is for certain, our humble community of Oakdale always shows up,” Bairos said. “We have another full recreation season planned this year ... and each and every team is fully sponsored.”

Following the ceremony, more games were played on multiple fields; the snack bar was open and there were several drawings for raffle prizes as part of a fundraiser. There were food trucks on site as well and there were a variety of free activities for kids, offered by Hope 209 and Family Support Network. Free haircuts were provided, as it was picture day for the teams. Several Oakdale High School students were hard at work throughout the day, operating the snack bar.

“We do have a competitive division under OSC, and we want to give a special shout out to our eight competitive program teams,” Bairos said in recognizing the year-round portion of the club.

This is the seventh year for the Oakdale Soccer Club and it has grown exponentially since its start.

“Everybody’s excited and it’s just a beautiful day,” Bairos summarized. “Everybody’s ready for soccer … we do want to give Basi Insurance a shout out because they took a chance on us our first year and were our logo sponsor, our club logo sponsor and they have maintained that seven years in a row.”

The recreational youth soccer program runs through Saturday, Oct. 28.

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Young players, at left, react after their team scored a goal during a Saturday, Sept. 9 game in the Oakdale Soccer Club recreational season, which runs now through Saturday, Oct. 28. Marg Jackson/The Leader
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Preparation is key, as these players work on stretching to warm up prior to their Opening Day game at the T.L. Davis Sports Complex in Oakdale as part of the recreation league of Oakdale Soccer Club. Marg Jackson/The Leader