Second annual AYSA soccer camp coming to Demopolis

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 4, 2005

The world’s most popular sport might just be getting a few more fans next week here in Demopolis.

Demopolis’s River City Soccer Club is hosting an AYSA Summer Soccer Camp August 8, 9, and10 for boys and girls ages 5 to 17. The AYSA, or Alabama Youth Soccer Association, is the leading organization for youth soccer in the state and two of its leading officials, Director of Coaching Scott Spencer and Assistant Director of Coaching Mark Prizant, will be camp directors.

The camp will be the second AYSA camp held in Demopolis after a successful first effort last summer. Demopolis youth soccer official Dr. Peter Keen says that he hopes this year’s event will grow out of the momentum generated by last year’s camp.

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“Last year we had over 50 kids. That was really big. Honestly, I was shocked at the turn-out,” he said. “So hopefully this year we’ll have that and more.”

The AYSA camps are a continuation of a series of camps that had been run previously in Demopolis with a different organization. But after the camp was discontinued for a period of time, the decision was made to re-start with the AYSA, a move Keen says was an easy decision since it has “95 percent” of the state’s youth organizations are members.

“It just has more to offer,” Keen says.

One of things it offers is expert coaching, and with Spencer and Prizant that will be provided. According to a promotional brochure designed for the camp, former Milwaukee Rampage professional soccer player Spencer “will oversee the course, curriculum, and staff” and “has a vast experience of developing programs for players that are positive, challenging, and fun.”

There will be two programs available at the camp: a “Beginners” program for 5 and 6-year olds and a “Youth” program or the rest of the campers. The Youth program will offer a wide range of activities, starting with basic “instructional phases” and moving up through skills games, exercises for improving tactics and techniques, and scrimmages.

“They’ll learn from A to Z,” Keen says.

Not that instruction is the only reason for kids to sing up for the camp. Keen says it offers new players a good opportunity to test the waters of soccer without committing to an entire season.

“This is a good warm-up for the kids,” he says. “They can come and see if this is something they’d want to play for the whole season.”

Most importantly, the camp will also just be a whole lot fun.

“They’re going to have a blast,” Keen says. “Everybody last year had a real good time.”

Registration forms for the camp can be picked up at the Parks and Recreation Office, Omni Sports, the Wellness Center and other various places.

Ages 5&6 will meet from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm and ages 7-17 will meet at 8:30 am to 11:30 am.

Cost is $35 for 5&6 year olds and $50 for 7-17 years. Pre-registration is recommended, as there is an additional $15 fee for “Day of Camp” registration.