MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Thomas Illanes didn't know that he would be juggling travel soccer on the weekends and junior varsity soccer during the week, until a group of parents raised enough funds to have seven high school sports teams reinstated for the coming school year.
Illanes, an incoming freshman, was one of 40 students to try out for the JV squad last week, some of whom might not have shown up if the JV second team (JV Black) hadn't been reinstated.
"I think it's good because a lot of people thought they weren't going to make it," said P.T. Prigoda, a freshman who also plays travel soccer.
Parents raised $30,000 over the summer to have modified JV soccer, in addition to six other teams, reinstated, after being cut from the 2010-2011 school budget and not included in the 2011-2012 budget. They reached the goal Aug. 9, just one week before tryouts began. Last year parents raised the necessary funds one month in advance.
"Last year they cut the program and we had low turnout because kids felt like they may not make the team," said Jack Epprecht, head coach of JV soccer. "It does help because I've had players who have made it up to the varsity level that would've been cut. It doesn't look like we're going to be making any cuts this year."
Epprecht, along with the head coach for JV Black James Apoldo, were happy with the number of kids trying out, especially considering the short notice that an extra 20 spots were open.
"It seems there's a spot for everyone," said Thomas's mother Ellen, who watched from her car during tryouts. "This will keep all of the kids busy. I'd rather have them playing a sport than having idle time."
Thomas, who played modified soccer in seventh and eighth grade at Hommocks Middle School, is excited for the start of both the school and travel season, as daunting as it may be.
"It seems like a lot," he said.
The JV Black squad kicks of their season Sept. 12 in an away game at Hastings, while JV will take on Edgemont Sept. 8 at Hommocks Middle School.
Have you tried out, or have a child that has tried out for a sport this year? Comment below, or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.
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