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America SCORES Boston celebrates 15 years Thursday evening in the South End

Posted by Ryan Butler  October 10, 2013 09:13 PM

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New England Revolution coach Jay Heaps plays a game with America SCORES Soccer students during the SCORES Celebration at the Cyclorama on Thursday night in the South End. (Justin A. Rice / For the Boston Globe)

America SCORES Boston celebrated 15 years of youth development in style Thursday night when they welcomed honored guests Jay Heaps and Brad Feldman to the Cyclorama in the South End. Feldman is a New England Revolution broadcaster, while Heaps is currently the Revolution’s head coach.

“For me, I think tonight's event is just amazing,” Heaps said. “This core group that make up SCORES is really strong. And to see these young kids here tonight, this is what it’s all about and the reason we got involved.”

SCORES is an afterschool program for Boston’s youth that combines soccer, poetry and service-learning to inspire kids to lead healthy lives.

Thursday’s celebration featured a light scrimmage for the kids, a SCORES video presentation and a live auction.

The night kicked off with the SCORES kids participating in a soccer skills clinic assisted by their counselors. Parents and adults were able to enjoy food and drink sponsored by 12 ethnic restaurants.

“I’m really excited to be a part of this,” SCORES board chairman David Chang said. “We’ve been planning tonight for eight months. We also have a ton of volunteers that helped make this happen.”

Feldman, attributed the event's success to the efforts of the SCORES team.

“I want a big round of applause to recognize all their work,” he said. “They’ve all helped this incredible program. Fifteen years now it’s been around, and look at the growth.”

After the skills clinic, Heaps taught the kids a drill he uses with his Revolution players to work on their headers.

“I wish the rest of my players could be up here with me,” he said. “But I’ve sent them home and to bed because we’ve got a big game Saturday.”

The celebration then concluded with a live auction that showcased Patriots' tickets, vacation packages and dinners.

But even though the night’s atmosphere was light and celebratory, the positive influence that SCORES continues to bring inner city youth remained the topic of conversation.

“To be able to bring the kids, sponsors and the public together in one night, it’s awesome,” SCORES Program Director Dwayne Simmons said. “I think the parents got a lot out of it too. Tonight just reflects positively on what we’re trying to do, and what we’ve been doing at SCORES.”

Ryan M. Butler covers Boston Public school athletics. He can be reached at butler.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @butler_globe or @BPSspts.

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Several reporters, editors and correspondents contribute updates, news and features to the BPS Sports Blog:
  • Justin A. Rice -- A metro Detroit native, Rice is a Michigan State University (Go Spartans!) and Northeastern University graduate. Rice lives in the South End with his dog and wife, who unfortunately attended the University of Michigan ... his wife, that is. He curates the BPS Sports Blog and is always looking to write about city athletes with great stories. Have an idea? He can be reached at jrice.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
  • Ryan Butler -- A Rhode Island native and avid Boston sports fan, Butler played basketball, baseball and football throughout his time in Barrington Public Schools. Now currently in his middler year at Northeastern University, he joins Boston.com as a correspondent for the site's BPS coverage. Have a story idea? Contact him at butler.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on his Twitter @butler_globe.
Also expect updates from Boston.com High School sports editor Zuri Berry and the Globe staff.