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The Lake News Online
  • Lady Lakers Summer Camp celebrates Sweet Sixteen

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  • Sixteen summers ago, Coach J.D. Hunter was hosting the first ever summer camp for girls soccer at the lake.
    Sixteen years of teaching the game of soccer.
    Since it began, the program has become a staple of the lake area soccer life, drawing in many girls from elementary school to high school.
    This year's camp managed to bring in a strong crowd, as always, ranging anywhere from 75-100 girls in attendance.
    "It's changed quite a bit over the years," Hunter said. "Our numbers have always been pretty consistent, but what's changed is the overall enthusiasm of the game has become stronger."
    One of the things that makes the camp so special, not just for Hunter, but also the girls, is the faces that keep returning. Girls who had attended the camps as children all those years ago now return as high schoolers, helping to teach a younger generation the fundamentals of the game they were introduced to so long ago.
    "We have so many girls that started out here in the little kids camp, and it's funny to think how much they've grown," Hunter said.
    The overall goal of the camp is to teach and improve the soccer skills of the attendees, but Hunter and his helpers make it a personal goal to make sure that all of their campers have fun while learning about the game.
    To do this, they break up the camp into three sessions: one for the younger elementary school kids, followed by middle schoolers, with high schoolers rounding out the sessions.
    The kids in the younger groups are taught the drills which the Lady Lakers use to stay sharp, and then practice their skills with a variety of fun drills and games.
    And, judging from the smiles on their faces, Hunter and his helpers have as much fun as the young kids do.
    "It's supposed to be fun, it's summer, it's hot, but the goal is for them to enjoy themselves," Coach Hunter said.
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