By Robert Rozboril, Sun News 

PARMA HEIGHTS – Since Holy Name Girls Soccer Coach Brian Michelson has been at the school, there has always been a summer camp.

For several years, it was held at different off-site locations rather than on the practice field behind the school. That changed about three years ago when it was decided to bring it to the school’s campus.

“Our numbers are down a little bit, but across the board, from working camps all over, the numbers seem to be a little lower,” he said.

“The kids are working extremely hard to get themselves better and I think they’re getting a lot out of it,” he said. “They’re in a good environment here for learning and playing soccer.”

The camp ran from July 8-11 with older campers, ages

SOCCERCAMP

Jenna Kowalski, 9, Gracie Kasunic, 13, and Caroline Dreher, 16, represent three of the four age groups that took part in Holy Name’s girls summer soccer camp. ROBERT ROZBORIL/SUN NEWS

He said they try to keep the cost of the camp low in order to encourage more participation but still strive to put out a good product.

Like several camps in Northeast Ohio, Holy Name’s soccer camp was not limited only to local athletes.

“You could be from anywhere,” Michelson said. “We have kids from Berea, North Olmsted, Middleburg Heights, Brecksville, Broadview Heights, a couple of girls from Medina. They’re from all over. It’s a wide variety.”

The camp is divided into multiple age groups. When players make the jump to the older age groups, they begin to get much higher level instruction from coaches who know a thing or two about higher level soccer.

“Normally what happens is once the girls get into the older age group, we bring in college coaches to do the training,” he said. “The middle age group is usually taught by myself or one of the high level instructors.”

One of the higher level teachers Michelson referred to was St. Ignatius graduate Matt Foldesy, who currently plays at the University of Akron.

As for the younger players, players of a wide assortment of soccer backgrounds will often volunteer to help out in the process of teaching the basics so beginners can get a solid foundation to start from.

“We make sure that every kid is going to be trained by an adult and an experienced person so that they are not coming and learning the wrong things,” Michelson said. “We’re not a baby-sitting service. We’re trying to actually get the kids to learn a few things as well as have fun.”

Participants in the camp only do a small amount of scrimmage play during the camp, according to Michelson. This year was especially hard for his instructors to work in scrimmages and complete drill sessions outside with the amount of rain that fell during the first few days of the camp.

Michelson said the inclement weather made him thankful for the amount of space they had to work with in Holy Name’s gymnasium. 

Contact Rozboril at (216) 986-6065 or rrozboril@sunnews.com

Follow this reporter on twitter: @rrozboril