Through September and October, island soccer clubs have been preparing their kids for the return of the Robbie Webber Youth Soccer League.
The Guam Football Association's games director, Sam San Gil, has been working to get the league approved by the Department of Public Health and Social Services.
"I can only keep turning in (requests) in hopes of their approval," San Gil said.
As October ended, GFA announced that youth soccer league games would not be played this season, as advised by Public Health. However, they are allowing GFA to begin plans for the adult league. The youth league clubs are now in the middle of announcing the news to their teams and giving refunds to parents who already have made their payments for the season.
Soccer mom and volunteer coach Mel San Agustin and her family of 13 were especially disappointed with the decision.
All her children have played for the Islanders Futbol Club during their youth, and as IFC secretary, San Agustin has assisted the club by sitting in at the IFC tent to help the head coach and children. She has moved on from being just a hands-on parent and is now in her fifth year of coaching for the U6 soccer division.
San Agustin is a homeschooling mother of 11 children and her jam-packed schedule made it difficult to spend time on exercise and health.
"It is hard to get out, but having a team to show up for is a real motivator to move," San Agustin said.
She added she was especially disappointed and concerned about her most recent group of kids being enclosed again in their homes.
As of this year, the San Agustin family has six children participating in the IFC Youth League. The kids were always excited for every soccer practice, and a whole year off only built their excitement for the possibility of a soccer season this fall.
David, Eliza, Rachel, Leah, Samuel and Ava San Agustin were sad when their mother informed them of the announcement. They are still allowed to play soccer at home, however their parents don't notice the same level of enjoyment.
"They enjoy doing ball touches and short scrimmages at home, but it's not the same excitement and drive that a real game of soccer offers them," their mother said.
Another long-time participant and parent Ken Dixon and his children were upset with the announcement. His family has been part of the IFC for four years and he has also been a volunteer coach in the past.
His youngest, Timmy Dixon, is one of the IFC's talented youth in the U12 division. In addition to Timmy, the Dixon family has started their foster son in the youth league this year, and the young one was very excited about this new experience.
"It was his new favorite thing to be on the team and wear the uniform, and we were very excited seeing his good performance," Ken Dixon said.
These devoted parents believe that exercise and vitamin D have been significant for their kids' health during the pandemic.
Though they understand the circumstances of the cancellation, they are still disheartened with the news and now are trying to come up with new ways to engage their children in healthy outdoor activities.