By Walt Johnson | Mountaineer staff
FORT CARSON, Colo. — Sept. 11, 2021, morning was the beginning of the Fort Carson Child and Youth Services (CYS) football, soccer and cheer fall seasons, and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect.
But even without sunny skies, there would have been joy and enthusiasm throughout Pershing Field Saturday. For the first time in a year and a half there were runners looking for daylight, quarterbacks looking for open receivers, goalies looking to deny quick-footed soccer shooters and quick-footed soccer shooters looking to rifle a goal past goalies. Additionally, the sound of cheer teams rooting on the athletes filled the air.
Otis Forrest, sports director, CYS, looked and smiled as his young athletes took to the fields and began doing what they love, playing sports. The enjoyment each athlete shared was evident by the smiles on their faces before the games, and the intensity of the games when action began. It didn’t take players and coaches long to get back in the competitive atmosphere that sports presents, as players gave everything, helping their teams be successful.
“You always know the kids are going to be competitive when they play, because its in every one of us to want to do our best, whether its sports or any other activity, we are involved in,” Forrest said. “What I really felt good about was the shape the athletes were in, even after the long layoff we have experienced, and how enthusiastic the parents were cheering on their athletes.
Athletes off the field had just as much fun, as the Fort Carson cheer team cheered loud and proud for the football teams. Megan Stevenson, cheer coach, CYS, could barely contain her excitement seeing the team cheer for the first time in nearly 18 months.
“Obviously we are beyond thrilled and excited to be out here,” Stevenson said. “I thought that the energy the girls had today was on point, and it is so refreshing and fun to be able to get back out here and do these things again.”
Jessica Lemus found herself coaching a youth football team with very little notice. She had about four days to prepare the team, and the young athletes responded by playing a great football game.
“Unfortunately, Coach Brown has a personal matter to tend to and our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family,” Lemus said. “He told me Tuesday I would need to coach the team, so we prepped them and prepared them to play today. Our goal for the team is to learn and have fun, and that is what we were able to do today. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who won or lost the game. What matters to us is (that) the kids learned something and … have fun doing it.”
Youth sports will take a week off as the youth center will host a Denver Nuggets camp at the center Saturday. The event is already at capacity, according to Forrest and the youth sports staff is looking forward to the event.