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South Jersey Soccer:
Star Soccer Academy: 21 Years and Still Going

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

By Boog Williams
SJSports Staff Writer

On August 2 through 6, campers in the longest running soccer day camp in South Jersey hit the fields at the Camden County Technical School in Sicklerville. It would not have been the usual soccer camp, in its historic 21st year, unless the hottest and most humid days started off the camp, which they did. By the end of the week, though, it was some of the best days of the summer. The camp was for boys and girls from the ages of 5 to 15.

The Camp, run by Skip Roderick, was broken into different groups by age and ability. The Future Stars group was made up of 5-6 year old players, and was coached by Super Steve Small from DeSales. The Women Junior Stars, ages 7 to 9, were the biggest group and were coached by Rainheart Ian Mason, from Scotland. The Men Junior Stars, ages 7 to 9, were coached by Choo Choo Chad Stender from James Madison University. The Senior Star and Advanced Stars were coached by Skip Roderick and Irish Keith Costigan. The camp ran from 9 to 3, Monday through Thursday and 9 to 12 on Friday. They also had the traditional Parent’s Night on Thursday that ran from 6:30 to 8. At the end of each day a Camper of the Day was selected and on the last day awards were given out for 3v3, World Cup Games, Skills, Sportsmanship, and MVP for the whole week.

Parent’s night was a great night. Parents participated in some of the drills that the campers had to do all week. They had to run around the ball 3 times, similar to stick races, dribble the ball, stop it, then touch the ball with their foot, knee, and bottom. The last drill was called the Scottish Congo. You had to hold the hips of the person in front of you and hop altogether to a spot. You then had to crawl under the legs of all the people in you group and pick up a cone in the center that was worth points. Parents competed against their son(s) and daughter(s). If you did not win or did not listen to directions, you had to suffer a ‘consequence’. Some of them were the Yab A Dab A Doo, Donkey Kicks, Star Jumps, Chinese or Brazilian Pushups, and Erkel imitations. Most of the parents didn’t think that they were going to have fun, but all went away happy. Kevin Ditolla, parent of Kevin Jr. and Kassidy, said “I know why my kids love to go to this camp. They learn about soccer, but also, the coaches are great and make it fun.” “My children had a chance to go to another camp, but they just love this camp”, admitted Sandra Kirshner.

Congratulations on another successful year. See you in 2005!

Photos by Boog Williams

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