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South Jersey Soccer:
Star Soccer Academy 20th Year and Still Going

Friday, August 8, 2003

By Boog Williams
SJSports Staff Writer

For the last 5 years, when the Star Soccer Academy camp came to South Jersey, it was the hottest days of the summer. This year was the wettest, but cool.

The first day of camp started with Skip Roderick, Pistol Pete from England, Keith from Ireland, and Terrible Tim of Deptford, New Jersey getting the campers into their groups. Skip then told the parents, "Thanks for bringing your children. Now you can leave because they are ours until 3pm. Go shopping, golfing, swim or just relax. We will see you at 3". The parents exited and the camp began.

The campers did make it outside on the first day until about 2pm when lightening made them move inside. While inside, the campers worked on their foot skills. The players had to touch the ball 20 times as they moved around the cones, while the littler campers only had to do it 10 times. The teams raced to see who could finish first, but also line up in a straight line with their ball on their head. Each time a group won, the Coaches would give each player a piece of gum. Gum was around all day at the camp. At the end of the day, campers would go up to their coach and say, "You still owe us gum from the tournaments that we played".

The younger groups stayed inside most of the week because of the rain, but the oldest group was out in the rain. When the older group came in, the question was, "Did you have a good swim lesson?" During the week, the campers played some 3v3 tournaments, worked on skills, and finished with a skills competition.

On the last two days, one of Skip's ex-coaches, Leppo, from England, who started with Skip in the first camp 20 years ago, returned and also brought his 7 year old son Todd to participate in the camp. Each year, the coaches stay with one of the camper families. Todd and his Dad stayed with the family that Leppo stayed with 20 years ago. It was quite a reunion.

To end the camp, the coaches gave out the awards for the 3v3 Champions, Skills Champions, and Camper of the Week. Then the campers got each other and the coaches to sign their t-shirts.

Photos by Boog Williams

More Photos Coming Shortly

For more information on Star Soccer Academy, visit

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