Matt Dennis, head boys soccer coach at Seymour High School, said he wanted the 50 boys that attended the Owls’ soccer camp last week to improve their skills and have fun doing it.
The main focus was to keep the campers involved throughout the 90 minutes each morning.
“We’re trying to get everybody time to play with the ball at their feet,” Dennis said. “That’s when you learn the most. That’s when you have the most fun.
[sc:text-divider text-divider-title=”Story continues below gallery” ]
“We’re trying to make sure these guys come out here and really enjoy the game and learn something from it. That there is a point to the game. Even with our kindergarten through third grade games, they are structured to where we want to keep the ball at their feet and change directions quickly so we just build the game with rules where that is emphasized.”
Dennis said this was his ninth soccer camp, and that he divided the campers into four groups that ranged from kindergartners to ninth-graders.
Dennis said his seniors players did a good job of working with the youngest group.
“They’ve done a really nice job of keeping the kids engaged and dealing with them on a daily basis. It’s been really nice to see,” he said.
Dennis said the fourth and fifth graders got a little bit more instruction, but they still played a lot of games.
Alex Foster attended his first soccer camp, and said he also participated the baseball camp last year. He said he played soccer when he was four, but dropped it and decided to pick up the sport again.
“I’ve been learning about soccer and how to play, and I just really love the game,” Foster said. “I enjoy the foot-eye coordination, and I like dribbling and stuff.”
He said he hopes to play on a school soccer team or with the Seymour Cyclones (travel team) this fall and play with the Owls when he becomes a freshman.
This was also the first year for Taiyo Murashide to attend the camp. He had previously attended soccer camps in Indianapolis where he played on club teams.
“I like soccer and I want to play soccer in Seymour,” he said as the reason for attending this camp.
He said he will continue to play for a club team in Indianapolis, but looks forward to play for the Seymour Owls in the fall of 2020.
Dennis said there were many campers that have been a part of the camp for years.
“There are some eighth-graders who attended the camp when they were in kindergarten,” he said. “They’ve been here every year and my assistant coaches, Talmadge Reasoner and Greg Jones, helped out throughout the years. This year because of scheduling conflicts it’s just me out here so I’ve spent a little bit of time with them. Our high schoolers have done a phenomenal job. The boys have really stepped up. It’s me and 50 kids out here. I couldn’t have done this without the high schoolers, and these high schoolers have made some good relationships with the players.
“They’ve gotten to know each other. I’ve told them their goal was to come up with a camp buddy that they remember their name so when they show up to a game that they can say ‘hey, I remember you.’ I want the kids in the stands to remember the high school players.”
Myles Chandler, an incoming seventh-grader, said this was his third year of coming to the camp.
Chandler, who plays with the Cyclones said, “I like how the game is spread out and the players make up the plays. It’s cool to see all that come together.
“I’ve been working on my juggling and controlling the ball. I play left back. With left back you play defense when there’s people coming down and trying to score, and sometimes you’re the person that goes wide and tries to cross the ball in for a goal.”