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Nate Jaqua, Roger Levesque Help Bring Youth Soccer Month to a Close at Wild Waves Kick-Off Bash

In Washington state, the beginning of soccer season is a cause for just as much celebration as the handing out of trophies in the end.

So it was that over 1,000 Washington Youth Soccer players and their families gathered at Wild Waves Theme Park in Federal Way to celebrate the start of the 2011-12 season with the annual Washington Youth Soccer Kick-Off Bash!

In addition to cooling off with their friends and teammates, players had the chance to meet and get autographs from Sounders FC stars Nate Jaqua and Roger Levesque, participate in a raffle for adidas sack packs and balls, Zune mp3 players, Washington Youth Soccer sweatshirts and other cool stuff, learn about ways to find a club or team, and pick up all kinds of cool Washington Youth Soccer swag.

The annual summer blowout event was the culmination of a full month of activities to celebrate youth soccer, a preamble to US Youth Soccer's National Youth Soccer Month in September, which promotes the Beautiful Game in communities nationwide. Each week of Washington Youth Soccer Month was given a different theme to coordinate with the three pillars of the Washington Youth Soccer mission — fostering the physical, emotional and mental development of our players.

Week One was entitled "Improve Your Moves" and was dedicated to skill-building — features, videos and skill-specific articles were posted to the blog throughout the week giving players tips to develop their skills this summer, while a raffle was held to win a week at Sounders FC Summer Camp. Congratulations to raffle winner Tristin Schultz!

In Week Three, titled "Play Healthy," players were given tips to prepare healthy and delicious meals to help fuel their bodies for practice and competition. In addition, a raffle was held to win tickets to the Wild Waves Kickoff Bash, with players writing answers to the question, "What does team spirit mean to you?" Washington Youth Soccer team, the Franklin Pierce Fury 94' Red GU17 won tickets for their entire team to attend the Kick-Off Bash!

Thank you to all the coaches, players and their families who helped celebrate Youth Soccer Month this year, and good luck in the coming season! For more information on activities held throughout the year, click here!