More than 30 boys and girls, who will be in grades 1-6 this fall, braved the toasty temperatures this week to participate in the Jacksonville Soccer Camp, which was held on the Jacksonville High School campus.
“I believe we ended up with 33 kids,” Jacksonville Fightin' Maidens head soccer coach Colten McCown said. “I think it is more than double what we had last year.”
Often the success of a summer camp can be based on the number of attendees.
McCown pointed out that one can't stop there when describing the true flavor of the camp.
“I think it speaks to our soccer programs here that we have almost as many high school helpers as we do campers,” McCown said.
Quite a few members of the Fightin Maiden area finalist squad, as well as Tribe soccer team, assisted in this year's camp, performing a wide range of duties such as providing individual and group instruction, moving the goals, making sure the campers had plenty of water at all times and providing ample encouragement.
“Our high school helpers made it easy for me,” McCown said. “I gave them their roles and they got to work, and it worked out well. We saw a lot of responsibility in our young adults who are out here helping out.”
One of the student volunteers was Fightin' Maiden goalkeeper Kelsey Traylor, who explained why she believes that it was important for her to be at camp.
“These kids are the future of (Fightin' Maiden and Tribe soccer) and a lot of these kids have the talent and the ability to keep our programs successful in the future, and that's what our programs need,” she said. “Anything that I can do to help these kids, is something that I want to do.”
As for the nuts and bolts of the camp, McCown said he believes two things are important at this stage for the campers.
“If these kids (didn't) learn any soccer out here, but they had fun this week, it's a win,” he said. “I feel one of the main things summer camp is all about is to get the kids encouraged to play this game and to play it more. If we can succeed in doing that then we have done well.”
When asked to access the performance of the youngsters on the pitch, McCown had this to say: “I think we have a lot of talented kids in camp that will be coming up to the high school programs in the future.”