in Buckhead has a growing soccer academy branch, one that Clayton Schmitt, the Soccer Academy’s Director of Coaching is proud to be a part of.
Schmitt said that the program has grown to add a new full competitive soccer program, with teams of boys and girls from Under 9 through Under 13.
Tryouts were held at the end of May/beginning of June and Schmitt said that the program is now able to offer two teams in almost every age group this Fall at the academy level, which now consists of 17 teams total. By comparison, only 3 academy level teams were offered by Northside in 2011-2012.
The Winter indoor program has grown as well and featured 170 boys and girls last winter, according toSchmitt.
"We had a really strong response from girls and boys," he said.
Buckhead is already home to soccer programs like Top Hat and the Carl Sanders YMCA, but Schmitt is proud that the Northside Soccer Academy program offers something different — a league that kids with previous soccer club experience and those without it, can enjoy. The program also functions as a ministry and the staff are purposeful about building healthy relationships in a fun, safe environment for children and families in the community.
While Northside does offer a different take on the soccer program it is still comparative, Schmitt said, in that it offers the same level of coaches, quality practices, games and competition. In fact, three college coaches will be on staff in the fall. Teams from Northside have and will continue to compete with teams from other counties all over the metro area.
"Because it is subsidized by the church we can charge less but the quality is the same," he said.
Northside Soccer utilizes fields at Morris Brandon Primary Center, and Galloway Athletic Complex.
The Fall League preseason will begin in August, with official games starting in September and going through November. In the Spring, games will start back in up in mid February and run through May.
"While we aren't the size and scope of some of these other clubs, we've got these “A” level coaches and a really good base to build from with a great staff," Schmitt said.
In addition to soccer, Northside offers a strong basketball program and the only indoor roller hockey league inside the city limits. Girls' Lacrosse is also offered, as well as a small T-ball program.
For more information on any of the sports programs offered by Northside Church, visit http://sportsandrec.northsideumc.org.