Local community bands together to resurrect youth soccer league

The Tishomingo County youth soccer league was on the verge of canceling for the second year in a row...then something magical happened.

Posted: Oct 7, 2021 1:01 PM
Updated: Oct 7, 2021 1:39 PM

IUKA, Miss. (WTVA) -- In Tishomingo County, because of the Coronavirus young kids didn't get to play communtiy sports like soccer or they were forced to travel outside of their hometown in 2020.

When 2021 came around, the Tishomingo County youth soccer league got together and was on the verge of canceling again because the league didn't have the money or the fields and they weren't sure about the numbers.

Then something magical happened -- because in Mississippi, people take care of their own.

Joscelyn Wimberly is the President of Tishomingo County youth soccer. It's safe to say soccer is a big part of her life. She played at Tishomingo, and then played at Itawamba Community College. She got involved in the youth soccer league in 2007, having to shut down in 2020 was tough.

"Covid really put a damper on us, we had no funds, no help," Wimberly said. "The kids were not able to do anything, our community was just, I mean there was nothing for them to do."

Two weeks after the league was supposed to start, Wimberly along with her treasurer Kim McAfee, and Vice President Darrell Cain, were on the verge of canceling again. Instead of giving up, they dug in. And the community responded.

"It was every day, we was all in a group chat, it was probably every minute, we got a new sponsor here, we got a new sponsor," Cain said.

"We had even parents at the school like, hey we don't know to do this but our kid wants to play, we will donate whatever," McAfee said. "They pulled together, as they always do, they pulled together for all these kids and now this is the biggest outpoor of kids that we've ever had."

In 14 days, the mighty trio of Wimberly, McAfee and Cain wrangled 30 sponsors, got the fields cleaned up and do you think that these kids wanted to play? The league usually averages 125 or so kids, this year over 250 signed up. A monumental effort by the businesses and people of Tishomingo County to give kids and their families a place to play.

"It's amazing, I'm also very proud of my community, I'm very proud to live here and I'm very proud of all of them," McAfee said. "I love them all dearly and we couldn't have done this without em, we really couldn't of it was definitely a town effort and we're proud of em."

After almost not playing, when I talked to Joscelyn last week, she was talking about expansion! She said that the soccer league turned into a social event, where people just come by to socialize, eat dinner and watch a little soccer.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 512632

Reported Deaths: 10262
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34853555
DeSoto33162432
Hinds32556641
Jackson24830389
Rankin22442402
Lee16238242
Madison14874283
Jones14086247
Forrest13741259
Lauderdale12249324
Lowndes11286193
Lamar10644140
Pearl River9707244
Lafayette8827143
Hancock7835132
Washington7550169
Oktibbeha7204138
Monroe6989179
Pontotoc6970109
Warren6849178
Panola6746134
Neshoba6726210
Marshall6653141
Bolivar6440151
Union633897
Pike5924156
Alcorn5862107
Lincoln5525136
George510180
Prentiss500884
Tippah490282
Itawamba4829107
Scott477499
Adams4766125
Tate4748116
Leflore4723144
Copiah455895
Yazoo455591
Simpson4543117
Wayne442772
Covington432895
Sunflower4299106
Marion4265112
Coahoma4227109
Leake413790
Newton395581
Tishomingo381793
Grenada3775109
Stone365666
Jasper340166
Attala337790
Winston317792
Chickasaw313367
Clay311878
Clarke301195
Calhoun284449
Holmes271289
Smith268952
Yalobusha243747
Tallahatchie231453
Greene224749
Walthall221366
Lawrence217840
Perry213356
Amite209557
Webster205148
Noxubee188642
Montgomery181557
Carroll174441
Jefferson Davis173643
Tunica163239
Benton152639
Kemper144941
Choctaw136527
Claiborne134238
Humphreys131139
Franklin124929
Quitman107528
Wilkinson105939
Jefferson96834
Sharkey65121
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 844594

Reported Deaths: 16115
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1160612006
Mobile741651379
Madison53255732
Shelby38313368
Baldwin38061589
Tuscaloosa35996641
Montgomery34473781
Lee25541263
Calhoun22582518
Morgan22441406
Etowah20009517
Marshall18771316
Houston17723425
St. Clair16863358
Limestone16123218
Cullman16032303
Elmore15902294
Lauderdale14945306
Talladega14186299
DeKalb12957269
Walker12011380
Blount10700192
Autauga10512157
Jackson10151194
Coffee9412192
Colbert9325208
Dale9013191
Tallapoosa7248201
Russell707465
Chilton7015170
Escambia6951143
Covington6926195
Franklin6337108
Chambers5778142
Marion5400130
Dallas5283209
Pike5114109
Clarke484986
Lawrence4826129
Winston4777110
Geneva4640136
Bibb434094
Barbour369180
Butler3433100
Marengo342393
Monroe336666
Randolph334067
Pickens333188
Fayette329885
Henry320566
Hale317989
Cherokee316963
Crenshaw260477
Washington256952
Cleburne254360
Lamar251253
Clay250869
Macon244764
Conecuh192762
Coosa184647
Lowndes178168
Wilcox177438
Bullock152545
Perry141840
Sumter139041
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
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