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Soccer Players Honing Skills, Boosting Economy In Tri-State

Reported by: Send eMail Darrah Wilcox
Reported: Jun. 26, 2014 5:05 PM EDT
Updated: Jun. 26, 2014 10:41 PM EDT
Eyewitness News Photo
Eyewitness News Photo

Huntington , Cabell County , West Virginia

Soccer fever may be contagious for fans right now, and local players are getting more and more serious about the sport.

"It's great to see that interest, and to see that passion from people who love the game, but also people maybe who are just starting to get into it," Kyle Sniatecki, who's made it his mission to help players sharpen those skills, said.

"There's a lot of clubs and teams that offer the competitive environment to play games, but for those players who are really looking to get the next level and hone in and enhance their skills, there's not a training business for that, so I kind of saw that niche in the market," he said.

He recently started his own business, called Soccer by Sniatecki. He's holding one-on-one training sessions and mini-camps for kids as young as four. He came to Huntington a few years ago to play college soccer at Marshall University, and decided to put his skills to use in Huntington after he graduated.

"Playing overseas and being from out of town, I just kind of wanted to bring my experience and my knowledge here to the Tri-State area, to not only promote the game but promote development of players here in this area," he said.

The sport has been growing in popularity each year in the Tri-State, especially in Cabell County.

"We're excited about soccer in Barboursville," Barboursville Mayor Paul Turman Sr. said.

In 2009 and 2010, Barboursville hosted the U.S. Youth Soccer Region I Championships.

"It was outstanding! And people have been talking about that ever since," Turman said.

Teams from 13 states brought an estimated economic boost of $10 to 12 million to the local economy.

"Between Ashland, Ky and Charleston W.Va., every hotel was full," Turman said.

Barboursville will host the championships again in 2015 and 2016..



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