BUFC Under-12 Players Pair Up with YMCA U-6 Team for Fun Day of Play on the Soccer Pitch
Before they were the BUFC Girls Under 12 PridePumas, they were the YMCA Under 6 Blue Pumas.
Six years later, girls from the original team returned to their recreational soccer roots to practice with their former coach and a new breed of YMCA Blue Pumas who may follow in their cleat steps someday. Despite their hectic three-day-a-week BUFC practice schedules, they found time for a fourth, albeit a day of fun.
The girls started their soccer careers at the Grand Strand YMCA at the age of 5 under coach Steve Starnes, who coached them for five years before they moved on to Beach United. Of the 10 or so players on his initial rec team, seven have gone on to play travel soccer at BUFC and remain teammates today.
The girls attribute "Coach Steve" for making the game fun when they were young and sparking their interest in playing soccer at the next level. Now Starnes has a new batch of 5-year-olds, and his former players wanted to give something back by spending some quality time on the practice field.
The girls paired off into big sister-little sister duos to run through stretching exercises and drills, and they also teamed up for a scrimmage in which only the little Pumas were allowed to score. They celebrated with some post-practice cupcakes and juice boxes before exchanging some goodbye hugs and high-fives.
The mixed practice was particularly meaningful for Starnes, who got to see his former players and their much-improved skills in action, and for the tiny Pumas who got to look up to their predecessors. The BUFC Pumas also got a kick out of the experience, which served as a reminder that no matter how seriously they take it, soccer should be fun.
Beach United Football Club is a Myrtle Beach-based youth soccer organization that provides next-level training and competition for boys and girls ages 5-18.