The Daily Eastern News

High school boys experience college soccer

Camelia Nicholson, Sports Editor

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Earlier this week, 110 high school boys made their way to Eastern for a soccer experience on a different playing field.

Today the boys will play their final match in a championship tournament, being seeded by best from matches throughout the week.

Director of soccer, Kiki Lara, and his team of handpicked staff of soccer coaches from other surrounding universities, hosted a five-day soccer camp. The soccer camp was available to high school boys from 9th through 12th grade.

Lara said the camp was intended to streamline the learnings of three main skills: tactical, physical, and mechanical. “It really was a good way for the boys to get summer training on a college level, by college coaches,” Lara said.

The campers were split into different teams upon arriving to Eastern, and from Monday until Friday, those teams would play together, in efforts to win the final championship.

A typical day at camp for the campers was to start the day with morning development and training, then play a set of matches, applying the skills learned.

“The other coaches and I tried to make this a fun yet competitive and educational experience for the high schoolers,” Lara explained, “It being 110 of them and 10 coaches, made it more challenging to do hands on learning with them individually.”

Lara also said despite the difference in numbers, the main goal was to get as much information to the athletes as possible that can prepare them for the next level.

The soccer camp has been a long-standing tradition at Eastern and allows the athletes to be exposed to an elite program.

Eastern soccer, in the past, has gained at least five to seven incoming recruits from programs such as this.

Lara said it’s a good way to find new talent for Eastern Illinois soccer and a great opportunity for upper-class high schoolers to possibly be recruited.

Camelia Nicholson can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]

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The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.
High school boys experience college soccer