The intersection of Quincy Street and the U.S. Highway 69 bypass is a fairly visible location. And if the Pittsburg Family YMCA’s plans move forward, that location could have a new attraction. Last week, the YMCA received a $10,000 grant for each of the next three years (for $30,000 total) from the Pritchett Trust. That money, said YMCA executive director Jack Bache, will go to creating a new set of soccer fields and a walking trail on YMCA property on the northwest corner of Quincy and the bypass. “We will begin, and talk to a landscaper. We’ll begin by making some of the area leveled out, and begin cutting down the area,” Bache said. “We’ll start cutting it down short, then put a better type of grass in there. Eventually we’ll put in a restroom. We’ll start with Port-a-Potties, then eventually build a restroom.” Roughly three years ago, the YMCA received a donation of about 100 acres of land on the northwest corner of the intersection. While several plans for the property were thrown around, Bache said they have settled on efforts to build new soccer fields and a walking trail. Current, early drawings show two full-size soccer fields and two under-12 sized soccer fields. The property would eventually add a playground, walking trail and potentially some baseball/softball diamonds. It’s all part of the rise in soccer not only across the country, but in Pittsburg as well. “In 1980 or 1981, soccer started at the Y,” Bache said. “We had very few kids, and it was a volunteer-ran thing for four, five, six years. Now, soccer is the largest sport we have at the Y. We have multiple seasons, fall, spring, summer. We also have an indoor season. We have more than 700 kids participating in soccer.” These fields would also be used by the SEK Soccer Academy, which is currently sending its athletes to Joplin to play, but Bache hopes that the new facility would provide them a more permanent home. While the $10,000 awarded this year is a good start, Bache said that by no means is the fundraising completed. Further, although the project might see some dirt moving this fall, it won’t be done for some time. “I would hope it would be able to be used a year from next spring. It might be ready a year from this fall. Either a year from this fall or a year from next spring. We’ll be getting two entrances, which is nice. A concrete parking lot is the first issue to get,” Bache said. “We already own all the goals. There’s not any problem just taking them out there.” So what makes soccer so attractive that it’s the top sports at the Y and drawing the need for new fields? “It’s a bunch more important today than 10-15 years ago. You can play soccer without a whole lot of athletic skills. If you can run and exercise, it’s a good sport for kids. You don’t need special skills like you do for football or baseball. The Spanish populations is really good at it because a lot of Spanish students play soccer,” Bache said.