By Rob Potter
LIBERTY A total of 27 high-school-age boys and girls participated in the recent Liberty United Soccer Club Summer Soccer Clinic.
From 5 p.m to 8 p.m. each evening from Monday, Aug. 10 through Friday, Aug. 14, those youngsters gathered at the Liberty Central School soccer field to work on their conditioning and skills.
Guiding the players were clinic Director Carpio Ramos and Coaches Sabrina Burton, Mike Mahoney, Anne Ramos, Jon Reynolds and Debbie Simpson.
While many of the 27 players attend Liberty Central School, others attend school in the Fallsburg, Monticello and Sullivan West districts. A couple players are recent graduates of the local high schools.
“We always start each evening with conditioning,” Carpio Ramos said on the final night of the clinic as he watched the players dribble soccer balls in the middle of the field. “Then we do some drills like hurdles and ladders. We play games at the end of the session. We are trying to get everybody ready for the start of the high school soccer season.
“On Monday night, they were all having a hard time with the conditioning drills,” he added. “But last night and tonight, it seems pretty easy for them.”
Reynolds, a Sullivan West graduate who is now a junior at SUNY New Paltz and a member of the Hawks soccer team, enjoys teaching the high schoolers.
“It’s fun to give back some of the knowledge you have about the sport,” he said. “We want to teach them so they can become better soccer players than we were.”
The clinic ended on Friday night with the players dividing into three teams England, Germany and Jamaica. Those teams then battled on the pitch to win the “World Cup.”
The players who participated in the clinic included: Summer Bitjeman, Colin Bunce, Luis Campos, Dillon Cerullo, McKinley Conklin, Robert Davidson, Stefanie Davidson, Rebecca Harmon, Lara Heslop, Kirsten Jacobsen, Taylir Lorino, Ashley Mahoney, Rory Meyer, Will McGuire, Charles McNellis, Elaine McNellis, Kyle Miller, Lupe Perez, Kris Ramos, Kirsten Sauer, Cristian Serapio, Brendan Siegel, Conor Siegel, Brittany Spinelli, Jeni Stolow, Christopher Symanski and Melissa Symanski.
Many of those players also compete for one of the Liberty United Soccer Club teams. Liberty United currently has six teams, four that compete in the spring and two that play in the fall. The spring teams are Under 18 Boys, U18 Girls, U16 Boys and U16 Girls. The fall teams are U15 Boys and U13 Boys.
Carpio Ramos noted that the fall teams used to be U14 Boys and U12 Boys, but they will move up to U15 Boys and U13 Boys for the upcoming season. He added that the Liberty United U12 Boys team captured first place in Division III of the East Hudson Youth Soccer League last year.
This autumn, the Liberty United U15 Boys and U13 Boys teams will move up to the league’s Division II.