Haslet Soccer has its First Summer High
HASLETT - In the midst of coordinating youth soccer in the area, the Haslett boys soccer team decided to have a camp of their own this time around.
Getting ready for the upcoming season in the fall, head coach Darus Ward thought practices weren't enough.
"If you look at the top programs in the area, most of them put in a lot of summer work, and three years ago when I took over the program, that's one of the things that I brought in, 'hey we're working in the summer time because we don't have enough time in the fall to practice because the games come too fast," Ward said.
During the week of June 27 through July 1, it was time for the high school players to get some mentoring.
"One of the reasons why we did it, is we've grown these last three seasons. This will be my fourth season with the boys, but every year we've added 5-10 new players. Early in the summer we've had 50-70 kids (first through eighth grade) sign up for summer work, so we just decided, 'hey it makes sense if we have a high school boys camp and you know just work on some, you know the fundamental things, receiving, finishing, passing.' Just to kind of help them improve over the summer," Ward said.
Returning captain, senior Brian Coscarelli, said that in the morning it's about having fun with the kids, but in the afternoon it's time to get serious.
"It's really fun and we just kind of play around, and teach the kids some stuff," Coscarelli said. "In the afternoons, we come back and we just do technical stuff, and run a little, just get in shape and just work on finishing and all the technical side of the game."
Ward said that the camp has been beneficial for all players, but especially for freshmen and sophomores who come in not knowing what to expect.
"They've done a great job over these last (few) days," Ward said. "Every day we finish with a scrimmage and we can see what we've been working on from the first day until now it's showing, they're applying it, so we've been as a staff, we're pretty happy with what they're doing."
Coscarelli has also seem improvement in the younger boys.
""The freshman coming in have gotten a lot better. They started out pretty rough, but we're gonna keep working with them to get them up to where we want them," he said.
Camp starts at 2 p.m., with warmups, some running and drills.
The program is divided in two groups, depending on their position and drills that will be run.
Some drills focus on forwards, with quick touches and finishes that help them score, other drills are about midfielders going back to either help on offense or defense, for example.
Meanwhile, goalies also have a chance to practice in any of those drills.
"Just being more technical, because the way we play, we keep the ball on the ground and we move it, plant the feet and possess the ball and planning on good pace," Ward said.
Around 3:30 p.m., both groups will come together and get sorted out into teams for the scrimmage portion of the camp.
During the short match, players are able to put the drills they learned into a real-game situation.
"Just this week it's been really important for them to come in and getting used to the older guys and not being afraid of playing high school soccer, and in terms of getting that rhythm down it's been very good and one thing we need to improve on is communication," Ward said.
Haslett soccer has the rest of the summer to get ready for their Fall season, but what might seem like a lot of time, might not be enough, so they have to work hard during these few weeks.
"Right when it becomes Fall you can just get right into it, and our first game is before school starts, so we gotta be ready then because we don't have that much practice before that, Coscarelli said.
Finishing last season with a 6-12 record, according to Max Preps, Ward said he hopes the camp will better prepare the athletes.
"We're looking forward to keep progressing and see who we do this fall," he said.
The team's first game will be at Holt at 12:30 p.m on September 17.