Shawn Ramos never thought about attending the Centre College Soccer Camp, but the Danville senior knows he and fellow senior Christian Gateskill-Fuqua are going to have to pick up the scoring slack left by the graduation of all-time leading scorer Jake Winkler this season.
With that sense of urgency, Ramos was on hand with the other Admirals at this year’s camp.
“Sometimes I’ve been busy, and sometimes I just got tired of doing it,” Ramos said during camp.
But with his offense being counted on even more this season, Ramos was more than ready to get going at the camp.
“Just try to get as much practice in before the season starts,”Ã?Â¿he said. “Coming in after (Winkler’s) footsteps, I’ve got to step up and take his spot. That’s whyÃ?Â¿I came here to the Centre camp, to get better. I’ve been practicing every day.”
Gateskill-Fuqua said he needs to be a bigger part of the Admirals’ offense, but it can’t just be him and Ramos.
“With Jake and Drafton (Peck) graduating, there’s definitely a big hole. Obviously, there’s not a Jake Winkler on this team, goals scoring-wise, so it’s going to be a group effort trying to pick up the slack,”Ã?Â¿he said. “We’re going to have to play better defense because we’re not going to score as many goals. It’s going to be a collective effort. I actually scored more goals my sophomore year than last year, so I definitely want to go out on a good mark, and just do everything I can to help.”
Ramos said he needs to work on his focus, and expects the camp to help him get better in that area.
“I’m usually just crazy-minded when the ball is coming towards me, so just slowing down and get my touches right. When I get on a breakaway, just to have the right touches. First touches. Just everything that can contribute to the team,” he said. “So far, I’ve done a lot of techniques, drills, games that have helped me get into the role of what I have to do. We played a game and I ended up scoring three goals.”
Ramos said the camp has been a great way to get the season going after the dead period ended on Tuesday.
Fuqua has been attending the Centre camp since he was a sixth grader, and agreed with Ramos the camp was a good start to the season.
“We’ve been doing workouts and then you hit the dead period and you have time to relax. Then by the end of the dead period, you’re a little excited, a little antsy for camp, ready to get back into it with your teammates,” he said. “Especially senior year, you know what to expect. You’re going to have some more touchs on the ball.
“It’s the same every year. It’s just a good time with a lot of good coaches, so you’ve just got to try to soak it all up.”
With this being his final season, Fuqua wants to soak in as much as he can.
“It’s gone by fast the other three years have. It’s going to be nice to be hopefully, a good leader, and have some kids look up to you and have some pull on the direction of the team,” he said. “I have pretty lofty expectations.
“It’s my fourth year starting off and on. I started some my freshman year. I expect myself to perform well. I expect to be the best player when I step on the field.