SISL Season Kicks Off

Ever since the Stratford Intramural Soccer League (SISL) was created in 1993, kids from around the Macon area have enjoyed this interactive soccer camp.

SISL is a Stratford-sponsored camp during January and early February that allows children from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade to improve their soccer skills under the coaching of upper school and middle school students.

“SISL introduces young children to soccer so that if they have an interest in it, they can continue developing their skills outside of Stratford, at club soccer.  Then they will be better prepared to play at the middle school or varsity level, which

is what has led to the success of the program,” said Sports Information Director Ms. Terry Sowell, who runs the camp.

Around 150 campers participate each year, and this year Stratford expects no fewer than 120.  The children and their parents find out about the camp not only through the Stratford grapevine but through e-mails, posts on the portal, and ads posted in community newspapers to attract non-Stratford students to the program

SISL takes place on Sunday afternoons from Jan. 11 to Feb. 8.  The winter schedule fits between the end of youth football and the beginning of the varsity soccer season.

The children are coached by 45 upper schoolers (middle school students may also coach).  The student coaches do not have to be on the varsity soccer squad, they just need a good attitude and lots of patience.

According to Sowell, it is important that Stratford students coach “because it builds a relationship between the lower school students and the upper school students.  If the lower school students know who’s playing on the varsity field they’ll want to come and support them. It also provides the upper school students with community service opportunities, and the upper school students seem to keep the competition in perspective and keep it fun for the children.”

“My favorite part about SISL is that I get to foster the love and excitement soccer has to offer to the future players of our sport,” said SISL coach Jake Edwards, who also plays for the Stratford soccer team.