Leader Blues

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

SPORTS>>JSA camp coached by Major Leaguers

By JASON KING
Leader sportswriter

The Jacksonville Soccer Association had a very successful camp last week, with four European coaches representing Major League Soccer on hand for the five-day event.

A total of just over 50 kids came out for the camp, up from the JSA camp numbers last year. President Kimberly Rogers says the fact that Major League Soccer sponsors the camp makes a huge difference in not only the amount of kids that participate, but also in what they learned.

“I am absolutely sold on MLS,” Rogers said. “They send top-quality coaching; these guys are the best of the best. We’re growing. Part of it has been word of mouth, and the Major League Soccer name also adds interest, so we are hoping we can double our numbers for next year.”

London’s Ross Lafayette, a semi-pro player with the Chesham United team, led the group of coaches during the camp. Lafayette said that it’s not just the kids that have a good time, but the coaches as well.

“You basically get recruited and sent to the states,” Lafayette said. “We started out in the northeast, in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and then we started in the south last week. The best thing about the camps is to see how much fun the kids have; it’s quite a lot”

Lafayette was joined by Jamie Collins of Whales, Dave Lefferty of Scotland and Dan Sherwood of England.

Friday was the final day for the camp. The kids were split into groups for a series of scrimmages that morning, and then celebrated the end of camp with a huge water fight that involved water guns, balloons, and basically anything that would hold water long enough to be dumped on someone’s head.

While the week was filled with fun and games, it will be back to business soon for Rogers and the JSA board, who are preparing for the upcoming registration and fall season.

The registration dates for the 2007 fall season will by July 14, 21, 28, and August 4. The coaches meeting will be August 11, with practices beginning on August 13. Any child from the age of three (by July 31 of this year) up to 17 can participate in the Jacksonville Soccer Association. Rogers says she is hoping for around 300 kids to join up.

For the first time in several years, the JSA could potentially have a competitive team in the 13U Sunfires. The team is expected to play as a select team, which is somewhat of an intermediate level between the traditional recreation and classic leagues.
For more information on the upcoming registration, please contact Kimberly Rogers at 843-7571 or registrar Tina Harris at 941-3588. You can also visit the JSA at their Website: www.eteamz.com/jacksonvillesoccer .