Soccer is as serious as a game-saving tackle with one second on the clock.
Reese Humphries would sign off on that. Humphries, the 9-year-old sweeper, is getting back on the field of play this week at the 2nd Annual LaGrange Girls Soccer Camp at the Chris Joseph Sportsplex.
On Wednesday morning the play was good and hot. Humphries spent more time in the sun than the shade.
“I’ve always had a passion for soccer. The coaches are helping me, and I’m learning a lot of different skills. This takes hard work and commitment,” said Humphries. “I’m trying to be a good defender.”
Humphries is receiving some one-on-one instruction from the many coaches. She is also learning some common sense.
“A good team means working together,”saidHumphries.
Amelia Rockwell is a soccer girl, too, and she is diving into the fundamentals at the camp. The coaches and players are sharing the soccer pitch, and the young girls are learning all about strategy and better footwork.
There are games for each age group, too.
“We’re practicing a lot and scrimmaging. We’re playing water games and dribbling around cones. This is fun, of course. I love scoring goals,” said Rockwell, the 10-year-old soccer camper.
Briley Cooper isn’t getting cheated out of any game time or soccer drill either. Cooper is eight years old. She does have a soccer clue.
Cooper has some talent as well for this game. And she loves every second of it.
“I’m playing for fun and the soccer games. The coaches are teaching me the moves to become a better player,” said Cooper.
One of those endearing and technical instructors is Andy Fritchley, who is also the director of the girls soccer camp.
“We’re teaching dribbling, ball control, passing and shooting. We’re teaching teamwork, and this is super fun. We’re trying to survive the heat, and we are keeping score,” said Fritchley.
There are 45 girls and campers from one end of the soccer facility to the other. The girls are as young as four and as old as 14.
Natahley Sabens, who can play midfield or forward, is working tirelessly on her game at the camp with Fritchley and the other coaches. Sabens is 10 years old.
“My (soccer) tricks are getting better. I am working to get better. I’m getting physical, and I’m running,” said Sabens.
She is also improving her soccer acumen, and camp instructor Colin Ross is happy to see that.
“This is real fun, and the girls are keeping possession of the ball. We are getting their interest,” said Ross.
And on “Wacky Wednesday” at the soccer camp, midfielder and 11-year-old Sam Cottle was getting into the flow. Cottle will be a sixthgrader this fall at Gardner Newman Middle School.
Cottle is always a soccer player and a good one.
“I’ve been playing soccer since I was four. This is fast-paced, and I’m working on my passing. Soccer takes footwork, and you have to be fast,” said Cottle.