By Rick Knack
MONTICELLO July 23, 2002 High school soccer will begin around the middle of August and to get ready some students went to the All-American Soccer Academy Camp at the Town of Thompson Town Park last week.
The camp ran from July 15 to July 19.
Camp Director Betsy Conaty was impressed with the enthusiasm and dedication to the sport and drive towards soccer perfection.
"The coaching staff is the key for the kids' hard work. They all have experience in playing the game in college, and one coach is still in college playing soccer," Conaty stated. "Having that experience shows the kids' confidence."
The coaching staff included Danielle Austin (former Roscoe graduate who is playing for Ithaca College), Peter Van Etten (former player for Ithaca College), Lou Velasco (former player at St. Bonaventure) and John Maranzana (former player at Elmira College).
The camp taught the kids how to shoot the ball, dribble up the field, passing and general sportsmanship.
"It helps me a great deal," said Gaston Owen, a player from Sullivan West School District. "I learn something new every year and have a great time." Owen participated in the morning group.
There were two groups a morning group and an afternoon group. The morning group consisted of kids between the ages of 8-11 and the afternoon group consisted of players between the ages of 12-17."I learned all kinds of skills and have had fun all week," said Kathrine Mahan, a ninth grader at Monticello. "I look forward to this one week all year long."
On Friday, there was an awards ceremony and the following were given awards: Morning group - Most Valuable Player, Saige Cashen; Sportsmanship, Kristen Nieman; Most Improved, Katelynn Bonnaci. For the afternoon group: Most Valuable Player, Sean Conaty; Sportsmanship, Jessica Barbone; and Most Improved, Jessica Orian.
"The only way to learn is experience," stated Conaty. "Experience is the key."