Angelina Youth Soccer Association looking for new fields after Lufkin announces plans for new league

Kit McConnico Park
Kit McConnico Park(KTRE Sports)
Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 4:15 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 28, 2022 at 10:07 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - There will be no fall soccer season for the Angelina Youth Soccer Association after the City of Lufkin notified the group they were ending their park user agreement.

League Administrator Jill Ray claims a letter was sent to the group a week before the AYSA was set to open up fall registration.

“When we saw the park board in February we thought we were good to go,” Ray said. “We put in a park use agreement for the spring and then put in a park use agreement for the summer. Out of the blue on June 10 we got a letter in the mail that said we would no longer have a park use agreement after August 15.”

The letter stated that the city of Lufkin would be providing a youth soccer opportunity.

The City of Lufkin released a statement to KTRE:

“This will be a league where kids of all skill levels can come to have fun, learn sportsmanship and how to be part of a team,” Lufkin Parks and Recreation Director Rudy Flores said.

Under the City of Lufkin’s field-use agreement, which was updated in January, field use can be awarded to another organization when LPAR does not have a program. Because the city will have its own league starting this fall, the city league will take priority.

“The parks department is responsible for ensuring that all of our field usage agreement holders are meeting a particular standard when it comes to customer service as well as parent/player communication and satisfaction,” Flores said.

With soccer under the larger LPAR umbrella, Flores said, he and his staff can also ensure that other sports and class offerings do not conflict with one another.

“We want to ensure that kids have all the options and information so they can explore new interests,” Flores said. “We’re excited to continue growing our Lufkin Parks programs.”

Ray said the group would still be willing to work with the city but is also looking at other scenarios for future spring and fall seasons.

“We have never entertained the idea of playing somewhere else,” Ray said. “Kit McConnico has been our home.”

According to Ray, the AYSA has seen a big growth in the past four years. According to Ray the league has surpassed over 750 participants each year over that time. The youth range from 4 years-old to 16 years-old.

“We are open to the idea of purchasing land, we are open to any of the surrounding communities,” Ray said. “Anything we can do e want these kids out here playing.”

The City of Lufkin plans to open registration in August and have games start in September.

Copyright 2022 KTRE. All rights reserved.