Nearly a thousand children and their parents and coaches ushered in the 2008 Mother Lode Youth Soccer League, or MLYSL, on Saturday August 16 at Charles Howard Park in Ione. Red-shirted members of the league’s volunteer board of directors coached some of the 72 teams from Amador County, numbering just under 850 children, while neighboring Calaveras County sent two more teams and Linden sent another nine teams. That made 83 teams this season, according to League Registrar Michelle Moreno, one of the 14 MLYSL board members and a parent of two soccer players. The kids range in age from 4 to 14 years old, playing in divisions of Under 6, Under 8, Under 10, Under 12 and Under 15. Local youth soccer has also sent teams to play in a summer indoor league in Folsom. Moreno said that the indoor league has been going on for the last five years, and this summer was the biggest turnout, with Amador sending six teams. MLYSL also offers a winter league. In the winter they will have either district-wide travel teams, going to Modesto and Tracy, or a seven-on-seven league for local teams. The latter, she said, would cut down on the travel and make it easier for parents and coaches to make the games. MLYSL plays 8 a.m. to mid-afternoon each Saturday until Oct. 25, when they host their season-ending Soccer Jamboree. Moreno said the Jamboree is not a tournament, so that the Under 10 age groups are allowed to play. Every participant gets a lapel pin and the points system allows for ribbon awards for first, second and third place.