CRESTVIEW — Close to 30 children have learned new kicking and passing skills following Crestview High School’s second annual Soccer Camp for Future Bulldogs.
CrestviewHigh School boys soccer coach Scottie Milton and about 15 of his players led the four-day camp, which was scheduled earlier this year.
"The numbers are a little down this year because we pushed it a little forward a week, but I'm still pretty happy with the numbers," Milton said.
"A lot of these kids are getting better. I kind of stress having fun and selling the sport for them, meaning they can have fun playing it while developing the skills of dribbling and passing and stuff like that."
Soccer is a more technical sport — with the development of dribbling and ball-passing skills — and youth league coaches often overlook the fundamentals, Milton said.
"I hate to say this," he said, "but a lot of time you have coaches that are more interested in winning than teaching the finer points of the game..."
Bulldog senior Cameron White, a Crestview player who helped with the camp, said he enjoyed glimpsing the future of Crestview High School soccer.
"It's really fun," he said. "Seeing them play, they are a lot better than I was at that age. It's looking hopeful for soccer in Crestview.
"I was really surprised by their passing. I would think a lot of them would want to hold onto it (the ball), but they have great passing and they are not afraid to give the ball to someone else."
White's classmate, Zane Kootsouradis, said that while some younger players pass the ball well, several struggled.
"With a lot of the younger ones, it's the passing (that’s difficult)," he said. "Some of them they think they can come out and score on their own, but they are learning.
"It can be a challenge sometimes. Some people pick it up really fast, but as long as you practice, it will come naturally."
Milton said one of camp’s important aspects is the familiarity developed between him and potential players.
"I get to work with them a week and they get to put a name with a face that I'm at Crestview High," he said. "And I get a name to go with a face if I go and see them at middle school soccer or even see them in the area playing soccer."
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at email@example.com, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.