Madison County has about 1,000 kids playing soccer in the Madison United Soccer Association spring and fall leagues with ages ranging from 5 to 18 in various leagues and divisions. 

The select program has also grown in the past five years going from three teams to 14, which MUSA Secretary Kim Prior sees as a part of the reason for Madison County athletes getting involved in Kentu-cky’s Olympic Develop-ment Program. 

“I think its very fair to say as our program is growing, the awareness about ODP is growing,” Prior said. “We have very qualified coaches in our program and the kids are only getting better.” 

Prior says awareness and improved skills are the two elements working hand-in-hand that has nine boys and nine girls playing at the ODP level. 

Madison Central’s Gordo Horn and Grant McIntosh play for the 1991 boys team. Stephen Willoughby is on the 1992 boys team. Berea’s Kevin Strand plays for the 1993 boys team. Hunter Conner is on the 1994 boys team. Austin McAlister and Brent Walls play for the 1995 boys team. Tyler Mattingly and Addison McCoy are on the 1996 boys team. 

Central’s Kaity Busch and Sarah Houghton are on the 1991 girls team. The Lady Indians’ Molly Dalton and Jessica McAlister play for the 1993 girls team along with Madison Southern’s Shannon Bilby. Meredith White is on the 1994 girls team. Dakota Gadd and Sarah Franklin play for the 1995 girls team. Hannah Durbin plays on the 1996 girls team. 

“I think that a lot of players around here are wanting to go to the next level, enjoying their high school experience and seeing more opportunities out there they can take advantage of,” Model girls soccer coach Barb Shafer said. “I think a lot of it is the growth of soccer in this area, it just seems like a natural progression.”

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