By Caroline Lanni Reporter
Wachusett organizations are preparing themselves for their sports seasons with no masks, and little to no restrictions for practices and games.
As sign-ups approach, programs are gathering players, coaches, and volunteers, with uncertainty of how their seasons will turn out in regard to Covid-19.
Princeton Youth Soccer
Princeton Youth Soccer president Martin Sterman said Covid restrictions will most likely change before the season starts, but for right now nothing is new.
Sterman said no masks are needed, and as a member organization of Mass Youth Soccer they too plan to follow its Covid-19 requirements.
Sign-ups started in May and are now in the “late fee season,” which is July through August, he said.
The registration fee for in-town players below third grade is $60, and for travel teams, third grade and up is $80.
“Generally, by the end of August we like to have our in-town teams pretty organized,” said Sterman.
He added the in-town teams can continually add players if needed afterwards.
Registration for the travel teams ended July 31. The late fee for registration is $30, and the season begins Saturday, Sept. 11.
Sterman said they canceled their season in 2020 and “it has resulted in some reduction this year in some of the travel teams.”
He said they have five travel teams and 10 in-town teams. The fields they use are at Krashes Field and Thomas Prince School.
There are shortages in coaches this year, he said, so they are looking for more assistance. To sign up to be a volunteer with Princeton Youth Soccer email the group at princyouthsoccer@gmail.com.
Wachusett Youth Football and Cheer
“We actually have gotten lucky, a lot of the restrictions have been let up as we operate via the state standards,” said Wachusett Youth Football and Cheer president Jeff Hatin.
Hatin said that they still want the community members to “practice caution.”
The group is a member of the Central Mass Youth Football and Cheer Conference, which is also affiliated with American Youth Football League.
“We are operating under the state guidelines — we’re no longer needed to wear masks out on the field –coaches, kids, spectators, nobody currently needs to wear masks unless it is deemed necessary by the state,” he said.
He added, they have plenty of coaches for football and “it seemed to have picked up quite a bit during the summer, so we are able to roster multiple teams – unfortunately with the third-grade level we had to cancel that season due to lack of registration.”
The registration fee for football and cheer is $215, which includes equipment and uniforms for the players.
Signups began in March, and late registration started in late July for both football and cheer. The late fee to register is $10. Late registrations are accepted through the first few weeks of August, said Hatin.
The football and cheer camp starts August 2 at Muddy Pond Field in Sterling, and their home field is at the Griffin Athletic Complex.
The regular season football games start on August 21 and 22.
The cheerleading competition dates have not been set yet, he said.
Football will have four teams — a combined fourth and fifth grade team, sixth grade team, seventh grade team, and an eighth-grade team.
Each team consists of about 20 to 30 children. Hatin said they are open to accepting more players.
For cheerleading there are currently 28 cheerleaders and they are split up into two different teams.
Hatin added, they do have less coaches than “normal” for cheer, but that might increase.
“I think youth sports are vital in any community,” he said. “We don’t just coach football, we coach life – how to take a loss and acknowledge a win. Cheer is the same way.”
Volunteers can email, wachusettyouthfootballandcheer@gmail.com, or visit, http://wachusettyfc.sportssignup.com/site/. All information is current as of publication date. See website for more up-to-date details.

Participants of the Fall 2020 Grade 5/6 Girls Program. (L. to r.) Ellie Schiller, Madilyn Tata, Amelia Powers, Brianna Harned, Isabella Chilton.
COURTESY: Brent Powers

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