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Carl Love: Yeah, there have been changes, but youth sports still provides the memories

By in Press Enterprise on September 16, 2017

By Carl Love

Dave Turturro’s son Nico, 13, was debating whether to play club soccer or wrestle.

The soccer was going to cost at least $1,000. The wrestling? About $150.

No pressure kid, but dad and his wallet are glad Nico opted to wrestle.

Dave is at a Temecula Valley Soccer Association recreation game at the Ronald Reagan Sports Park watching another son, Marcos, 10, play on a Saturday morning. It was the kind of glorious day money can’t buy. By the way, Marcos’s rec soccer experience is about $125, something Dave can buy.

I’m here in light of a Time magazine cover story this month, one called “How kid sports turned pro,” detailing how crazy the industry – yes, industry – has become as kids travel around the country, dreaming of the big leagues while parents fantasize about full-ride college scholarships.

I’m not here to bash this craze, one that the Southwest Riverside County youth sports scene has long been a part of, my family included. My son David played club soccer for five years after I coached him on 13 rec soccer and basketball teams.

What struck me about the story is that families are now spending twice as much on youth sports compared to 2005, about when David started his club experience. It made me wonder if we could afford it today.

I’m here for picture day for the soccer association and I remember those in Murrieta where I coached. It was like everybody in town was there, a fun time. I picked up the same small-town vibe in Temecula, parents talking up a storm, kids parading around in their uniforms hauling team banners like the Purple Tigers, Blue Storm, Black Ninjas and Green Ninjas. You can never have too many Ninjas in rec sports.

John Mastroianni took his daughter Allison to softball fields for years, including six […]    

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