If Scotland High School varsity soccer coach Colin McDavid had it his way, there would be a variety of opportunities available for teen-aged soccer hopefuls to develop their skills year-round.
With the third annual ‘Southeastern Soccer Academy’ set to begin this weekend, McDavid hopes that his brainchild will continue to grow and become a springboard for bigger things to come.
“Catching them early is what it’s all about,” McDavid said. “A lot of times girls come to the high school level having never played before, and then I don’t get to work with them until Spring. This will give them a head start, make them more confident to try out for the team, and one day give us a pool of players to hopefully start our own tournament. Many kids are hungry to play soccer year-round, so events like my academy can go a long way towards creating a feeder program for them.”
Starting Nov. 10 at 9 a.m., girls 8th-12th grade in age are invited to take part in the Southeastern Soccer Academy, which will offer a slew skill-building activities taught by some of the very best instructors in the area. Conditioning, ball control, fundamental and tactical drills will be administered by a pool of talented professionals including McDavid, Richmond Senior High School varsity coach Bennie Howard, Purnell Swett High School varsity coach Alaric Strickland and former El Salvadorian professional player Alfonso Peraza.
The clinics are scheduled to continue throughout the fall and winter months, with lessons set to conclude on Jan. 12. The cost is $30 per player.
The registration fee includes player insurance, field maintenance and referees’ fees. But perhaps most important in McDavid’s eyes is that every player who attends will be automatically registered for the Soccer Association for Youth (S.A.Y.) which sponsors tournaments throughout North Carolina.
According to McDavid, soccer players and coaches in Lumberton, Pembroke and Raeford have all agreed to participate in a S.A.Y-sponsored regional league that gives local players the option to potentially play year-round.
“A travel league can be extremely expensive, so our goal is to create a region that cuts the drive down and makes the sport more appealing in this area,” McDavid said. “If we can one day host our own tournament, we can generate funds from academies like mine to sustain ourselves and move on to bigger and better things.”
Those interested in registering their athlete in the Southeastern Soccer Academy can call 910-277-2585 for further information.