Dan Baccarini stands near one of the fields at the NYSA Soccer Complex on a picture-perfect evening in late May.
A group of girls are playing soccer, competing in a drill to see which side can score the most goals. On another field off in the distance, boys just starting out in the game are running back and forth scrimmaging against each other.
These are scenes from a tryout session for Navarre United, a local soccer club that continues to grow and move further away from its position just a few years ago when uncertainty hung over the program like a dark cloud.
That cloud no longer exists. It has faded quickly since Baccarini took over as the club’s director of coaching.
A total of 219 children signed up for tryouts, up from 150 a year ago, and 180 of them will play for one of the 12 teams in the program this fall. That is one more team than Navarre United had a year ago, another sign of the promising growth.
“I never imagined it would get to this level,” Baccarini said. “We’ve gotten a lot of support from the schools and our partnership with the rec department has helped, too.”