Hapoel Soccer

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By Jeff Seidel
June 14, 2006

WJW Sports Correspondent

Although school is finishing for this spring, other area sports programs already are looking at what could be happening in the fall.

Hapoel Soccer, which has been growing rapidly in its first years, will be fielding several leagues in the fall plus an informal division for younger children. It starts with kids as young as 3 years and goes up to those in the eighth grade.

The league has widened in its first few years. League spokesperson Matt Bernstein said that 98 percent of the children in the league in its first season came from the Torah School of Greater Washington and the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy. But all that's changed in recent years.

Bernstein said that the league now has "a great mix" of kids from the Torah School, Hebrew Academy, Yeshiva of Greater Washington, Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School and a number of other places. Hapoel began play in the summer of 2002 and has kept growing.

"The league is really something special for the D.C.-area Jewish community," Bernstein said.

The league is going to have three divisions for both boys and girls this fall. They're broken down by age -- first- and second-graders, third- through fifth-graders, plus sixth- through eighth-graders. In addition, they will have a "Soccer-cise" league for boys and girls, ages 3-5.

Bernstein said Hapoel is taking registration for this fall season. Those interested can sign up on the league's Web site, www.hapoelsoccer.com. Planning is not complete, but registration is available.

Games are scheduled to be played at the Cannon Road Elementary School in Silver Spring. The games will be 5-on-5 and 8-on-8 formats and played on fields a little smaller than normal because it's not the normal 11-on-11 style of play.

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