South Dakota high schools to sanction soccer as an official team - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

South Dakota high schools to sanction soccer as an official team sport

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It's a day to celebrate for the 15,000 students who play high school soccer in our state.

The South Dakota state soccer association handed over control of the sport to the state high school activities association.

Not all high schools across the state treated student soccer players the same as the students who played other sports.

Sometimes those students might not be included in high school announcements, newspapers or get the same awards.

For them, this is about recognition.

The group South Dakota Soccer first started administering high school soccer in 1997. But now, soccer is an officially sanctioned sport.   High schools across the state will give soccer players the same recognition as students who play other sports, but not just in name only.

South Dakota State Soccer Association president Rich Jensen said "these kids got to wear their school colors. They got to represent their schools but it just wasn't the same before. It wasn't quite being a high school athlete. I think the thing a lot of us wanted to see all the time was the kids that were playing soccer to get the same recognition in school as all the other athletes were, cause they were athletes representing their school again too."

"We started the concept of state high school soccer as a club sport back in 1998, so now we're looking at 16 years that we've been at this. And as of Monday night, of the 30 schools that we have worked with, 28 of them are now sanctioned and they'll be playing this fall," Jensen said.

 Just last week, several school boards agreed to sanction soccer for their districts, making it possible for the association to hand over the reigns.
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