Art file photo of little league opening day.

With winter beginning to give way to spring, local youth sports leagues are gearing up for the season. There are several opportunities for young athletes to come together, play, and have fun in The Valley. The Valley Reporter reached out to Mad River Valley youth leagues to learn if they are able to accommodate the demand from young athletes and how their registration and early seasons are going.




The Mad River Valley Little League registration closed in mid-February. The league has 170 kids registered to play on a total of 20 teams ranging from T-ball to U-12 baseball/softball teams, which league president Charlie Goodman said is the greatest number of kids the league has had in recent history. He noted that the league could accommodate any number of players in future seasons. MRV Little League began practices a few weeks ago at the SHaRC at Sugarbush and the local school gyms. Outside practices at Couples Club will begin as soon as the snow melts. Opening Day is scheduled for Saturday, May 6.


“After years as two organizations, Mad River Valley Youth Lacrosse is merging with Harwood Youth Lacrosse (the Waterbury youth lacrosse organization) to form a new organization called Highlander Lacrosse,” said Matt Lillard, Mad River Valley Youth Lacrosse (Soon to be Highlander Lacrosse) board member and seventh- and eighth-grade boys’ coach. “Highlander Lacrosse will utilize the strengths and resources of all of our communities to continue to grow lacrosse among our towns and develop one of the strongest youth lacrosse programs in central Vermont. Mad River Valley Youth Lacrosse has seen tremendous growth over the past few years and the growth has continued this year. Highlander Lacrosse will be fielding boys’ and girls’ teams for grades three through eight as well as an intro program for K-second-grade kids. While registration is still open, some teams and age groups are now on a waiting list, specifically third- and fourth- grade boys and fifth- and sixth-grade boys. We are still actively looking for more girls at the third- and fourth-grade and fifth- and sixth-grade ages. Some teams have started indoor practices in various facilities including the gym at Crossett Brook Middle School and Green Mountain Valley School. As our spring season is short due to long winters, we thank these facilities for enabling us to get our season started while we wait for fields to dry. We hope to be on the fields at Mad River Park and Crossett Brook Middle School no later than May 1 (after spring break) with our first weekend of games May 6 and 7. The season concludes on June 10-11. We encourage any child in grades K-eight to check out lacrosse. Additionally, we are always looking for coaches. Anyone with interest in developing young athletes while having a great time should reach out to us. More information can be found at



Mad River Valley Soccer currently has some 185 players registered in the age groups U10-U16 including boys and girls for all age-groups with one exception being only girls registered for U16, according to spokesperson Jean Marie Nagle.

“We currently have registration opened for U8 and U6, in the past we have had good interest of ~40 players or so, but i'm still waiting on these numbers. We are at capacity for U10- U16 and registration has closed. The season will commence mid-April for practices, with games beginning first weekend in May,” she said. She said that the league currently has enough fields to support its programs, noting that kids play primarily at Mad River Park with older players sometimes using the fields at Crossett Brook Middle School and younger players using the polo field in Waitsfield. Nagle also said that soccer organizers coordinate with lacrosse and Little League organizers so that kids can play multiple sports if they want to. For more information, visit As youth leagues organize for the season, the Mad River Valley Recreation District (MRVRD) is planning in-person interviews with the leaders of youth sports, trails groups and other recreationally-oriented groups in April to hear how MRVRD could work more closely with them and perhaps help with unmet needs. What is learned from those meetings will shape a public survey that will be on the rec district website and promoted throughout The Valley this summer. MRVRD grant program, funded by the towns of Fayston, Waitsfield and Warren, distributes between $40,000-$50,000 spread out among10 to 12 groups each year. Applications are due November 1 and can be found at With questions contact MRVRD director, Laura Arnesen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..