JACKSON, Miss. (September 15, 2021) —The 2021-22 US Youth Soccer Mid South Conference season kicked off play over the weekend, as 40 teams from Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee competed at Shiloh Park and Flowood Liberty Park in Jackson, Miss. The event included teams in the 14U through 19U Boys age groups and the 14U, 17U and 19U Girls age groups.
In total, this season will see 108 Mid South Conference teams compete for qualification into the 2022 USYS Southern Regional Championships, as well as qualification into the 2022-23 season of USYS National League P.R.O.
Some notes from this weekend’s action:
- In the 14U Boys Division, Gulf Coast Rangers 08 Red (AL) and United SC 08 Premier (AL) earned 4 points each in their games this weekend and have early top spots in the standings.
- Germantown Lady Legends 08 Black (TN) wasted no time getting an early lead in the 14U Girls standings this weekend. The reigning Mid South Conference champions picked up two 3-1 victories over Tupelo FC (MS) and Brandon FC (MS), with their match against Brandon FC also counting toward the National League P.R.O. standings.
- In the 16U Boys Division, MS Rush United 06 Premier (MS) earned two shutout wins this weekend, defeating NASC Gravity 06 Premier (AL) 4-0 and United SC 06 Premier (AL) 2-0.
- The 2021 Southern Regionals Champions, Collierville SA 05 Lady Lobos Rush Premier (TN), had a good start to their conference season this weekend. The team picked up 4 points by defeating Gulf Coast Rangers 05 Red (AL) 6-0 on Saturday and tying MS Rush United 05 Premier (MS) 1-1 on Sunday.
- In the 18U Boys Division, defending conference champions Baton Rouge SC 04 Black (LA) put in two great performances this weekend, earning a 5-1 win over NUSA 04 Maroon (TN) and a 1-0 win over United SC 04/05 Premier (AL). Germantown Legends 04 Black NL (TN) also picked up two wins over the weekend, as they began their season as defending USYS Southern Regionals champions by shutting out MS Rush United 04 Premier (MS) and Gulf Coast Rangers 04 Red (AL).
- Both MS Rush United 03/04 Premier (MS) and Hattiesburg FC Storm 03 (MS) picked up 3 points in their first games of the season and have an early top spot in the 19U Girls Division standings.
What they’re saying:
Carey Talley, head coach of Germantown Lady Legends 08 Black (TN), is impressed with his team’s early success this season within the conference.
“Both mentally and physically these games were huge for our group as these were our first two games since Regionals last year,” Talley Said. “Myself and our assistant coach were quite nervous about our sharpness. It seems the girls felt the same in the lead up to the games and all were a bit uneasy at the start of the first game. It took us some time to get going and credit to Tupelo FC, as they had us on the ropes in the first half with their speed and organization. Brandon FC was the same and it took us a while to get into a rhythm. Getting a couple of wins against some difficult opponents can hopefully give us some good momentum going into our next weekend of conference games. There are no easy games for us in this division and we know those upcoming opponents will be equally as challenging.”
Talley talked about what he attributes to this team’s success.
“This is a tightknit group,” Talley Said. “Not only the girls but the parents all have a mentality of team over self and it shows in the way we play and how we interact off of the field. The girls are happy to play in the roles that are asked of them and that in itself creates a team mentality and players playing to their strengths. Our first two games were very tough games physically for our girls, but they dug in as a team and were able to get positive results.”
Talley, who is also the Director of Coaching for the Germantown Legends, talked about how his club benefits from competing in the Mid South Conference.
“For us being a small club in comparison to most that we play against, in the state, regional and national events, it’s a great accomplishment for our teams to even be making it to the Mid South Conference,” Talley Said. “Playing against the top competition from each state because you earned your spot in the previous state competition is something for these teams and coaches to all be proud of. When Chris Bartels, who recently passed in February, asked me to join his club six years ago, we only had 60 kids. Now we are around 600 players in the club and have multiple teams vying for State Cups, Regionals and multiple teams that have made it to the National League. All credit goes to the coaches and players that have worked tirelessly to reach their highest level of competition and the good thing is we have some very good teams coming up that have good examples to follow.”
The next Mid South Conference hosted event will each take place Sept. 25-26 at Emory Folmar Soccer Complex in Montgomery, Ala., and will include teams from the 14U through 19U Boys age groups and 14U through 18U Girls age groups.
For more information on the Mid South Conference, including schedules, scores, and standings, click here.
For more information on all of the National League Conferences and the National League P.R.O., click here.