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Soccer board meets; Gutshall discusses story

The board of the Demopolis Youth Soccer League has resolved to put recent problems behind them and work together to improve the league.

The board met Tuesday night at the Park and Recreation office at the Demopolis SportsPlex.

Parents associated with the league had complained in an article in The Demopolis Times about paperwork not sent in time to register local teams for a tournament in Biloxi, Mississippi.

League president Stephen Gutshall defended his actions in trying to send the paperwork in properly. He gave the board an exhaustive timeline of days and numerous phone calls in which he thought officials with the Alabama Youth Soccer Association (AYSA) would allow a late entry. Despite phone calls and pleas from Gutshall and various board members, Mississippi league officials ultimately did not allow the entry.

Gutshall said he was blindsided by the article in the paper.

Board member Sam Fish said he told The Demopolis Times reporter the names of soccer coaches and parents to talk to them about "what is right or wrong about the soccer league.

As a member of the board, Fish said he was as much at fault.

Keen wished to stop what he called the "bashing" of one person. Someone should have asked Gutshall to step down earlier if the league was not being run properly.

Keen was elected league president for 2004-2005. He expressed the desire to pick his own board members, obviously not happy with the recent direction of the league.

As the meeting went on, Keen’s view had softened, and he resolved to work with the present board and go forward.

Board members talked about having a spring program, but Keen disagreed.

The board will sponsor a soccer camp for July 2004. The next board meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 8.