Due to a Mississippi High School Activities Association rule change, soccer players throughout Starkville are forced with a heavy decision when it comes to where they will play.
The rule, which goes into effect January 2014, states that only five players from one high school may play on any one club team. This especially hinders teams like the ones in Starkville where there is only one club team for the high school players to compete on.
Andrew Mackin, who serves as the manager of the Starkville Soccer Association Bulldogs Under-17 team, says the rule change came as a “real surprise” and happened to fall on a “year when it really mattered to Starkville.”
“Usually club soccer fades away at the older ages, but this particular group of boys has been working many years to stay together as a group,” Mackin said. “This last year that hard work paid off because they are the first Starkville club to ever win the highest level state championship. It is kind of sad the year they win the state championship and look forward to being the older, dominate group, the rule change means that half of them won’t be able to do it.”
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