Varsity Soccer team hosts Youth Soccer Camp
Matthew Smith | Staff Writer
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It’s never too early to look for the future.
Both the boys and girls varsity soccer teams have put in a lot of work this offseason as they prepare for their upcoming season this fall. Although they have busy schedules, the two teams found time to come together and host the 2019 Youth Soccer Camp. The camp ran from June 3rd-June 6th and was for sixth through eighth graders.
Head women’s coach Andy Schur said that the main goal of the camp was to exhilarate the kids about being a soccer player.
“Our primary goal is to try and get the youth and community excited about Mason High School soccer and playing this game,” Andy said. “The hope is that (the kids) now want to be playing on this field one day as a varsity player, and along the way learned some new skills as well.”
For the kids, the camp is a much-needed break from regular soccer practices. Camp participant Cooper Schur said that he had a great time at the camp and competing with his friends.
“It was really fun,” Cooper said. “I like that we were allowed to play a lot of games, and not just do a bunch of drills. I really liked trying to win and beat everyone else.
At the camp, not only do the kids learn from the coaches in the soccer programs, but also current varsity players. Coach Schur said that it is a great experience for the kids to form bonds with varsity players that they can look up to.
“It’s certainly a lot of fun for the kids to have varsity players coaching them at this camp,” Andy said. “A big part of our program is the relationships, and these young kids now have 17 and 18 year-olds they can talk to and know by name. Now they can come to a game and cheer for different players by name.”
The relationships aren’t just one-sided either. Senior defender Megan Rubsam said that the older players have a great time teaching and being with the kids all week, and it is a great experience for them as well.
“My favorite part is getting close to all of these young girls,” Rubsam said. “It’s a lot of fun seeing them compete and trying to help them reach their goals. Showing these girls what it takes to make varsity one day is a lot of fun.”
Introducing the kids to the mason soccer culture is always important, but for the older players, it’s more personal than that. Rubsam said that a big part of why she enjoys helping at this camp so much is that she was once in their shoes.
“When I was younger, I would always come to this camp,” Rubsam said. “Now I see these girls with the same passion and dreams that I once had, so I really feel a connection this camp. These kids are the future mason soccer, so I want to leave a mark on this program and show (the kids) things that high school players do.”
At the end of the day, no matter how competitive, the coaches want soccer to be enjoyable for the kids. Coach Schur said that he feels it has been a successful week for all of the campers and that it was a fun week of soccer.
“It’s been an awesome week. It’s been everything that we hoped it would be,” Andy said. “The kids were talented, and worked really hard. Ultimately though, we want the kids to be excited about playing. Youth soccer can be really robotic and just something kids do three or four times a week; not something they are passionate about. We want the kids to do (soccer) because they have a good time playing.”
Photos by Rahul Parikh.