The 2014 Paul Klover Soccer Association Youth Soccer Camp is in full stride this week at Clover Dell Park with about 100 young people attending nightly from 6 to 8:30 p.m., according to Paul Klover Board President Amanda Blackburn.
Young soccer enthusiasts are being taught the fundamentals of the ever-growing popular sport in over two dozen areas, she noted. “We have kids all the way from six to 17 (years of age),” Blackburn noted.
The soccer coaches and players involved in this year’s four-day camp include: Chris Lawson: Rockhurst head soccer coach; Halee Ruckman: Sedalia Select Competitive coach; Eddie Horn: Jefferson City High School head soccer coach; Sam Jones: Smithton head soccer coach; Adam Murray: Smith Cotton girls head soccer coach; Michael Desmond: Smith Cotton boys/girls assistant coach; Jake Herrick: Sedalia Select Competitive coach; Nick Waite: UMKC goal keeper; Jordy Schrick: UMKC player; Derick Schrick: UMKC Soccer Player; and Ryan Akin: Baker University goal keeper.
“All the people who coach the camp are people who have lived in Sedalia or played soccer in Sedalia in some capacity,” she said. “And then we also have three UMKC players who are associates of Chris Lawson. They are great young men, and so we look forward to them coming every year.”
This is Blackburn’s fourth year working with the camp, but it was originally founded by Adam Braverman. “He’s the innovator, the go-getter, and he started this camp eight or 10 years ago,” she said.
“What Paul Klover is working on, is developing players who eventually go on to play at the high school level. So we’re building our team from the ground up,” Blackburn stressed, adding that it doesn’t matter whether they play for Smith-Cotton, Sacred Heart, Cole Camp, Smithton, La Monte or any other area school, “this is where it starts.”
Some of the smaller schools don’t have active soccer programs available, so many soccer enthusiasts come to Sedalia to participate in their favorite team sport, she noted.
Blackburn said was very pleased with the numbers at the camp this year. “Of course we’d like to have as many kids as we can, because they’re out here, they’re having fun, learning the game and we’re just thrilled to have them. But this year was exceptional, so (having) 100 is fantastic,” she concluded. Photos by Randy Kirby, Sedalia Weekly Observer.