For The Tribune
Seymour High School soccer coaches Greg Musser and Matt Dennis decided to combine their youth soccer camps this summer and held their camps together last week at the Freeman Field soccer fields.
A total of 19 girls attended, while Dennis said there were 42 boys in camp.
The camp was for incoming kindergarten through eighth graders.
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“We decided to combine them this year and break them off into three different age groups and individualize the instruction a little bit more,” Musser said.
“I have the sixth graders through eighth graders. We have a group of boys and a group of girls from that age.”
Dennis worked with the fourth and fifth graders. The kindergarten through third grade were divided into separate groups with other members of the coaching staffs working with those campers
Also, members of the high school boys and girls soccer teams worked with the campers.
“For the youngest kids, we had enough that we could keep them separated, boys and girls,” Dennis said. “For the fourth and fifth graders, and sixth-through-eighth graders the numbers were a little lower, so to get us better numbers for drills and stuff, and being out here at the same time, we decided to practice them together and it’s working out pretty well.”
We spend quite a bit of time working on individual skill. All of Monday we were working on individual moves and how to touch the ball and how to do a scissors kick and things like that. (Thursday) we’re doing a little bit more passing.
During the final 20 minutes each day the campers scrimmage 3-on-3 or 4-on-4.
“We try to implement some games within the drills,” Musser said. “We concentrate on the fundamentals of dribbling, passing, receiving, shooting and implement them into games and let them have some fun with in before we send them into some small scrimmages.”
Dennis said in the scrimmages, it was good to see campers try to execute a scissors kick or something they were taught during the camp.
“We weren’t necessarily concerned if the kid scored a goal in the 4v4 game, but if the kid did the scissors kick, because that’s what we worked on, we knew they learned something. At the end we always let them have 20 or 25 minutes of free play and let them showcase their skills.”
Many of the sixth-through-eighth graders had played with Musser in the past.
“I’ve coached them for a few years now,” Musser said. “It’s good to see the young ones here having a good time running around. The interest is still there, which is still good.”
Several of the campers play on the Cyclones travel teams.
“I coach U13s this year, which is the seventh graders, so they’ll be eighth graders,” Musser said. “I won’t be able to coach them with the rules that are in place, but they’re involved in the travel programs.
“They’re playing year-round, along with some other sports, and keeping soccer on their list of to do’s.”
Caroline Dennis, 7, said she has been playing soccer since age 4.
“I like kicking the ball,” she said. “I’m right-footed. I’m trying to learn to juggle.”
Dennis, who also attended the basketball camp said she enjoys playing in the park and rec leagues at Freeman Field on Saturday mornings.
Another camper, Blaze Shouse, said this was his first year attending the soccer camp.
“When I was at school I started playing soccer, and I liked it,” he said. “Basically I like everything about the camp because it is my first year.”
Shouse, who will be a fourth grader at Jackson Elementary, also plays basketball but says soccer is becoming his favorite sport.