Ashley Ridge opens annual youth soccer camp

  • Thursday, June 19, 2014

Maya Morales toes a ball during the Ashley Ridge Soccer Camp Tuesday. Also pictured are Emma Martin and Ryan Brislin. See more photos on page 8B

As the world’s best soccer players compete in Brazil, some of the world’s youngest players are kicking the ball around at Ashley Ridge High School.

This week Ashley Ridge hosted the first of two sessions for its sixth annual summer soccer camp for players age 3-12. While the camp hasn’t drawn the interest of the World Cup, camp counselors say it is fulfilling its purpose.

“On top of this being a very fun camp I think the kids are learning,” camp instructor Toni Schneider said. “For the ones who maybe aren’t too familiar with the game yet, they are getting the basic skills they need and confidence.”

Approximately 85 kids participated in the first session of the camp, which has consistently drawn between 85 and 100 campers per session since it was founded by Ashley Ridge Girls’ Soccer coach Mark Weaver. Registration remains open for the second session scheduled for July 7-11.

Camp is divided into two sides, a general side for those wanting to learn the game and an elite side for players ready to be challenged with a more difficult regiment of activities.

“On the general side, they work a lot on their technical skills,” Weaver said. “They work on passing correctly, shooting correctly, dribbling correctly, right-foot work, left-foot work and making sure they can put everything together. On the elite side, they should already have those technical skills so they work on possession games, movement off the ball and being able to play a fluid soccer game.”

For the youngest athletes, the camp introduces them to the game. Weaver says by the age of 5 most kids are ready to start developing the basic soccer skills but he feels the key to that is keeping their interest.

“For the little kids, it’s all about games,” he said. “They might work on their dribbling, but we will call it Crab Soccer. As long as they are having fun, that is what we are looking for.”

The second session will run from 9-11 a.m. daily or from 9 a.m. until noon depending on age. Camp tuition is $60 per session. Each camper will receive a camp T-shirt. Weaver and Summerville High School Head Boy’s Soccer Coach Jason Rasner head a staff that is committed to helping each camper improve their skills and performance levels.

For a registration form or further information, email mweaver@dorchester2..k12.sc.us or call 695-4900, extension 52150.

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