JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Saturday was the first time children with the Clinton Soccer Association had touched the fields at Traceway Park since November. The fields technically reopened after a winter break the first week of February, but CSA board members said the city won't let the children play.
Recent wet weather has soaked the fields. "It's really tough to have impromptu practices on tennis courts or make shift soccer fields," said soccer parent Georgette Turner.
"I love playing soccer. It's my hobby. I love it. I don't want it to go away. I just don't," said soccer player Anecia Meyers.
The annual CSA Spring Classic Tournament was scheduled for this weekend, bringing together 122 teams from across the state. However Clinton's mayor sent a letter on Friday to the association requiring a $20,000 deposit for damages to the field. The money would be "refunded as appropriate."
"We're asking the city to begin to listen to us and work with us and communicate to us and not send us emails at 2:00 p.m. asking for money in order to put our children on the field," said CSA board member Mark Jones.
The CSA has pleaded with the parks and recreation department to put in rye grass to prevent damage to the field during play and wet weather. But parks and recreation Director Ray Holloway said the dry grass will not fix the situation.
According to Holloway, the field was badly damaged during the tournament last year and parks and recreation had to use thousands of tax payer money to fix it.
Alderman-at-Large Jehu Brabham gave WLBT this statement, "We are trying to be responsible with the tax payers money. We believe it would be only fair that any sponsoring group take responsibility for damages done to the field."
Holloway added this statement,"We understand the parents and children's frustrations because it is a disappointment for us to not have them play. When I met with the tournament committee I suggested it be postponed to another weekend."
The tournament is tentatively postponed until march, but Clinton Soccer Association parents said that will only take away another weekend of regularly scheduled play for the kids.
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