Lady Devils head coach D’Avignon is former SAY President –
The Soccer Association for Youth began in 1969 in the suburbs of Greater Cincinnati in order to fill the gap of a lack of fall sports for kids. Today. 50 years later, SAY Soccer is still kicking. Since its inception, nearly three and a half million kids have had fun playing the world’s most popular game in SAY sanctioned leagues. SAY has expanded into 32 states with over 100,000 kids playing last year.
In Adams County, youth soccer began in 1998 with kindergarten through second grade the first year, and older teams through sixth grade added in the following couple of years. In 2004 when the need was seen to increase the competition level and to add a junior high program to bridge the gap to the high school level, the North Adams Pee Wee program joined SAY Soccer. At that time only junior teams were a part of SAY. Since 2012, third through sixth grade SAY teams have been added.
North Adams High School girls soccer coach Dave D’Avignon and his wife Lois attended SAY Soccer’s 50th Anniversary Banquet and celebration held in Lawrenceburg, Ind. on Saturday July 15. D’Avignon will be entering his 12th season coaching soccer at North Adams. He began coaching the Green Devils and then the Lady Devils in 2007 after he moved to Adams County from Cincinnati in 2006.
While living in Cincinnati, D’Avignon served as National President of SAY Soccer during the still formative years of 1979 and 1980 when SAY started to expand outside Ohio. He started coaching in SAY when his oldest daughter, then six, played in 1971, the first year girls play was sanctioned by SAY.
“I had assisted with my seven-year old son’s team the previous year and that made me an ‘experienced’ coach back then,” says D’Avignon. “I figured I could keep up with 6-7-8 year old girls so I accepted the offer of ‘We can’t find a coach so you have to do it’ And here I am, still at it,,and so is SAY soccer.”
Nancy Horvath of the North Adams youth soccer program offered, ”SAY has been a great experience to be a part of. The SAY National office in Cincinnati has been tremendously helpful over the years with their advice, support and services.”
Local SAY teams are a part of the Five Points Area SAY that serves Adams, Brown, Highland, and Clermont Counties. SAY offers an area state tournament and several teams from the Five Points area have competed and even won year after year in the tournament.