Young athletes at the Mason Youth Soccer Camp are scoring goals as well as working towards them.
From Tuesday, May 31 to Friday, June 3, kids of any skill level from grades five through eight can attend the soccer camp that was initiated by the Mason High School boys’ and girls’ varsity soccer teams.
Paul Reedy, co-director of the camp and boys’ Varsity Soccer coach said that the main goals for the camp are to make sure the campers have fun and learn new skills.
“If they enjoy what they do here, there’s a good chance they’ll want to keep playing soccer,” Reedy said. “And then, we try to show them things in terms of fundamental skills that once they reach high school will be important for them to possess if they want to play soccer for the girls’ or boys’ teams.”
According to Andy Schur, co-director of the camp and the girls’ varsity soccer coach, the format of the camp allows them to learn crucial skills and have a glimpse at a typical varsity practice.
“It’s not run too much differently than a typical varsity soccer practice would be. It’s a little bit of a preview,” Schur said.“We’ll do a little bit of skill building, we’ll try to show them techniques or some things we want them to know how to do, and then we’ll always try to finish by letting them play and just expressing themselves on the soccer field.”
Varsity soccer player Hannah Kallach said she and the team attended this camp when they were younger and they hope that the campers have fun and build confidence as they continue throughout the week.
“It’s a fun game with all their friends,” Kallach said. “I hope they build up confidence and connect with each other a lot more.”
Kallach also said that she likes to see the campers enjoying themselves when they are playing games.
“When we play big games it’s always fun to see them laughing and being competitive with each other.” Kallach said.
Incoming eighth-grader Adam Winterhalter said that he most enjoys playing soccer with people who genuinely love the game.
“(My favorite thing at camp is) that you get to go out and see who else in the high school likes the game as much as you do,” Winterhalter said. “You just get to play soccer with your school and that’s kind of fun.”
Winterhalter said that attending this camp increased his desire to be on varsity.
“(It shows me) how much the players enjoy it and what they get to do.” Winterhalter said.
Incoming eighth-grader Elizabeth Berry said that she’s learned a lot of new things this year despite coming to camp before.
“I learned how to keep your dribble close and that you don’t always have to use the regular dribbling technique,” Berry said. “You can use your big toe or your little toe and cut inside out at angles, and I’ve never really been that great at dribbling so that helped a lot.”
Berry said that she aspires to play on the varsity soccer team in high school.
“I would really like to make varsity soccer and be a big part of the team.” Berry said.