Article by Ali Bryant, Resident Press Contributor
When Mansfield Soccer was first established, many didn’t expect it to take, let alone have a single winning season. Contrary to the initial opinions, Mansfield Soccer has grown each year, with players coming from Hackett, Hartford, and the surrounding communities. Several teams have experienced undefeated seasons, including Head Coach, and Mansfield Soccer Director, Jason Baggett.
Baggett along with his wife, Lesli have managed the program, and five undefeated seasons since the beginning. But, the Fall season will need a new figure head, and program manager. Baggett is stepping down to focus on the future growth of this program, but at a higher level.
“Our goal (pardon the pun) for Mansfield Soccer was to get it into the Mansfield School District as a sport. That’s still my goal. With the talent we have, we could definitely compete against bigger schools; we’ve done it, and we’ve won. These kids not only know how to play, but have played together since they were 6yo, and have had multiple undefeated seasons, and it’s time for me to make the push to get it into our school system, as a sport.” added Baggett.
Mansfield Soccer ranges in age from U6 (4-5yo) to U14+ (12-14yo) playing teams from Paris, Ozark, Booneville, and Mountainburg each season starting in early September, thru the 2nd weekend in November. The program has seen an average of 14-16 players in the older teams, and 6-7 in the youngest.
“The perfect scenario for this program is to be included under the Mansfield Ball Association umbrella, and not managed individually. Having it all together, we keep our kids here, in one place, and preparing them for upper level play in our school system. It’s a Win-Win for everyone” said Baggett.