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First Liberty Soccer Camp a success

Liberty High School soccer coaches Andrew Uhler and Ian Larimer had been mulling over ways to rebuild the youth soccer program when Derek Reusser of the Bethlehem Futbol Factory approached Uhler with the same idea.

June 21 was the first day of the first annual Liberty High Soccer Club Summer Camp, a four-day camp that took place at the Nitschmann Middle School turf field.

“It’s one of the best things we’ve done as a coaching staff,” said Uhler, who is head coach of Liberty’s varsity girls team. (Larimer is head coach of varsity boys). “Ian handled the programming, I took care of the managerial side, and Derek handled the parental part.”

The camp was open to second through seventh graders, and about 75 youth attended. Each day, the participants learned and practiced a variety of skills and played in possession-based games.

Liberty soccer players were also there to assist Uhler, Larimer, and Reusser.

“My entire team helped, as well as seven or eight of Ian’s players,” Uhler said, “and some guy and girl graduates came back too. It was great, and it was a nice bonding experience for the kids.”

Uhler, Larimer, and Reusser are considering running a soccer camp this winter, but are weighing concerns about COVID-19 vaccination rates and in-person schooling, which is scheduled to be returning to five days a week.

“The goal is getting kids interested in playing soccer and giving them the tools to navigate the club side of soccer,” said Uhler. “Sometimes the downside of soccer is the expense of club, but here, the kids could get club-level training. We also wanted to drum up interest in soccer and not lose kids to other sports.”

Contributed photos Kids take part in drills during the first Liberty Soccer Camp.