The soccer program at the Palestine YMCA has grown leaps-and-bounds in the past three years.

All that growth and success was celebrated Wednesday, as the Y honored the aptly named U-12 Lady Champs, who won the North Texas Soccer Association Tournament of Champions recently, as well as the Palestine U-16 Diamonds, who finished second.

Since 2010, the Palestine YMCA’s soccer program has grown by 155 players, an increase of almost 66 percent.

In that time, the number of girls in the soccer programs has almost doubled, and the YMCA currently features six all-girls teams from the Under-8 class and above. In 2010, there was only one such team.

YMCA Soccer board member Dr. Michael Garcia, Palestine mayor Bob Herrington and YMCA Sports Director Chad Cox were all on hand at Wednesday’s celebration, held in the Ben E. Keith community room.

Along with all of its tournament success, the YMCA soccer program also is proving to be a bit of a pipeline for the Palestine High School girls’ soccer team.

Six of the current members of the Diamonds play on either the varsity or junior varsity squad for the Ladycats.

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