DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — After Mid-State Soccer Club in Decatur had to cut its season short last March because of the pandemic, athletes have finally returned to the field for games and tournaments.

Soon-to-be Freshman in high school Greg Frazier spent his months during quarantine thinking about sports. He was unsure when in-person activity would resume, when he finally got word that he can continue to play soccer.

“I started in 2016. And just tried out, and ever since then I’ve loved it,” says Frazier.

His current soccer team is one out of 40 that competed in the 44th annual Football Tournament at Mid-State.

And even with the uncertainty of sports during the pandemic, Frazier remained hopeful.

“It’s been tough trying to practice without being with my teammates, but still know, we can actually work on individual things that you need to work. So, that’s something I’d like but also it sucks not being with the team,” says Frazier.

Some athletes like Frazier returned when Mid-State re-opened to the public. Managers say the facility is doing its best to keep everyone safe.

“COVID-19 has been a challenge for our programs. And to kind of combat that this year, we’ve obviously taking games off, and then so that way, they’ve got an area to kind of gather in a socially distant manner,” says Coach Tyler Benton.

Everyone in the building must also wear a mask.

“This is the first time maybe competing outside of a non-contact team training so they can actually hopefully win or do well in the tournament itself,” says Benton.

Frazier says what’s been best about his experience has been the coaches.

“I can’t thank them enough seriously. They’re amazing.”

Coach Benton says he missed the players the most.

“When we finally got to open it, it was definitely needed. Our players were revving to get back out there and we definitely missed it – we’re soccer people.”

Frazier calls soccer his passion and says he plans to continue in the future.

Officials with Mid-State Soccer Club say they are always looking for new members to play.
Anyone over the age of 8 can join a team.