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Young athlete strives to excel
Letter to editor
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Editor, This letter is in reference to the recent comment made in Sound off about the seventh-grader who plays select soccer for the Richmond Hill team and is playing for the Liberty County Recreational Department
First, I would like to elaborate on the comment, which pertains to my daughter, whose name is Sidney Wilkinson. She is a seventh-grader at Snelson-Golden Middle School and is 12 years old. Her birthday falls in the last week of August. Therefore, she is a young 12-year-old. She is qualified to play for the LCRD, she plays in her proper age group and we paid our fee just like everyone else.
She has played since she was 4 years old and is not going to stop playing for them. Sidney also has played for the Hinesville Gator Association, played 3v3 and played for the Athena/Select Richmond Hill Hornets. And now she is playing for the Richmond Hill Athena/Select Comets. She has been involved in traveling soccer clubs since she was 5 years old and absolutely loves soccer.
Our oldest child, Michael, who now is a coach himself, was a great resource for Sidney. He, too, played for the LCRD, 3v3, Liberty County High School varsity for four years and traveled with the Gators. I give a great credit to him and the friends he grew up with in the environment Sidney learned from. She knows how to play every position due to these outlets, her family and friends.
Our family has dedicated our time and money for our children to have the best in playing soccer. We also have become LCRD- and state-certified coaches.
Sidney has a goal: to play high school soccer, try to qualify for a soccer scholarship and attend the University of Georgia. As a parent, it is my job to see that she achieves her goal.
She is dedicated not only in soccer but also with her school work. Sidney is in advanced-placement/gifted classes and is very smart. As her parents, we are very proud of the young lady she is becoming.
As with all children, Sidney will come up against other athletes who will be better than her. When this happens, she will learn from the experiences and strive to become even better.
I feel your comments about my daughter are juvenile and you should feel ashamed. Spend the time and effort that you put into calling in a comment about my child and teach your child how to play soccer.
I feel your issues should be with the LCRD’s age guidelines and not my child, even though she is well within those guidelines to play in her age group.
Sidney will continue to play for the LCRD, and we will not pull her from playing a sport that she loves and is superlative at. Keeping a child from his or her goals is reprehensible. The LCRD is a great avenue for those who love to play sports and learn. We fully support this department and will continue to do so, or until Sidney does not want to play any more.
If you would like any information about helping your child become the soccer player that Sidney has become, please feel free to contact the Hinesville Gator Association or the Richmond Hill department. They are not the only avenues out there. There also are Statesboro and Savannah.

— Cynthia Wilkinson

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