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Reed gets a kick out of youth soccer

October 08, 2007|By JANET HEIM

SMITHSBURG ? Doug Reed has been a fan of soccer since the 1970s. He was first introduced to the sport as a teenager when his family was stationed overseas with the U.S. Army.

Reed, 41, moved to Smithsburg with his wife, Deborah, and daughter, Allison, in 2000, because of his job as a microbiologist at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Md. Allison was 5 when Reed started coaching her soccer team through the Hagerstown Area Youth Soccer League.

Allison is now 12 and a seventh-grader at Smithsburg Middle School. Reed continues to coach and referee, and has been the HAYSL regional commissioner for the past two years.

Reed said HAYSL, a league associated with the American Youth Soccer Organization, proved to be a good fit for them because of its philosophies: everybody plays; open registration (new players can register even after the season has started); balanced teams; positive coaching; and sportsmanship.

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"It's just a game. They need to think of it as such. Those AYSO philosophies ? that's what really made a difference for me. The kids ? that's what we're all about," Reed said.

Reed said he would love to have time to play the game himself, but admits his involvement with HAYSL requires a "substantial time commitment" during the spring and fall seasons.

His priority right now is supporting his daughter's activities. He does exercise and plays some racquetball during the week to stay in shape.

"You have to be fit to keep up when reffing, especially with the older kids," Reed said.

Reed considers Oklahoma his hometown, but his family moved around because of his father's job. He said he likes the beauty and rural setting of Washington County and added that people are friendly, polite and remind him of those living in the Midwest and Texas, where he grew up.

There are about 460 youths registered for HAYSL this fall. Games are played at Fairgrounds Park.

For more information about the league, call 240-52-SCORE or go to the league's Web site at

www.haysl.org

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