KSD players learning and benefitting from Centre camp

July 08, 2004|JILL ERWIN

In the long run, the scrimmages at this week's Centre College Soccer Camp don't mean anything. But for the six boys from Kentucky School for the Deaf, those games are a reward within themselves.

KSD players are at the Centre camp less than one year after they started their inaugural season, facing off against players from defending 12th Region champion Boyle County and other winning varsity programs during camp.

"It's helped me by challenging me," KSD freshman Brad Davis said. "It's making me a better player by seeing a better level of playing and giving me something to follow and strive for."

KSD started a soccer team last season after discontinuing its football program. The Colonels played a junior varsity schedule, as they will for the most part this season, as they learned a new game.


Now, they're increasing their learning curve.

"There are a lot of games, and it's also been a lot harder than we thought it would be," freshman Jeremy Latimer said. "The five of us that have gone through the camp will be much better and contribute more to the team in the fall when we start back than if we hadn't come to the camp."

Centre camp has long used the KSD field

The Centre camp has long used the KSD field for its Keeper Edge Soccer Program, and Centre soccer coach Jeb Burch said with the advent of KSD's soccer program, he thought it was time to repay the favor by passing on the soccer knowledge to the Colonels.

KSD's Roderick Hodge is enrolled in the Keeper Edge program.

"I'm learning how to stay focused and concentrate at all times," said Hodge, a senior entering his first season as a starting keeper. "Good communication and all those things make a good keeper.

"I'm interacting with other keepers and we're learning from each other. It's kind of hard because every keeper has his own style and his own comfort zone, and we have to try to break out of that comfort zone to learn how to do things the right way."

Burch said he has enjoyed watching Hodge play.

"I think what this camp has done for someone like him is it's given him a lot of confidence," Burch said. "He's the one that brings them out from water breaks. If they're not working hard, he drives them to get motivated. That's just a tremendous experience for him, being thrust into a leadership role. That's a byproduct of the confidence he's gaining from having success."

KSD athletics director Paul Smiley has sent his sons, Kevin and Eric, to the camp for the past several years. Smiley said the chance to open up those avenues of learning the game to his students was too good to pass up.

"I wanted to expose our kids to help them improve, and this was the best way to do it," Smiley said. "This is a tremendous experience and it will really take our team to a whole new level.

"They're learning how to train like they've never trained before, they're learning all the soccer skills, and when you're the only deaf person in a whole hearing group, you're learning to get along with others."

KSD, Danville players on same team

The KSD players are on a team with players from Danville, several of whom have parents who work at KSD. The team is being coached by Jim Arnold, who played soccer at St. Bonaventure and coaches a high school team in New York.

He said the experience of having the KSD players on the team has changed the week for everyone involved.

"It's been a learning experience for everyone, and so far the interaction has been great," Arnold said. "I think their confidence is growing. I don't think they're used to the speed of play yet and I think they get a little frustrated, but they've reacted to it. The change I've seen from the first game to this game (Wednesday) has been incredible."

It's not the last time the KSD players will see Burch. The Centre coach has agreed to do a training session, along with assistant coach Mark Hudson, for the whole KSD team when the players return to school in August.

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