L.Y.S.A. hosts Major League Soccer camps
By Alonzo Garza
The Lockhart Youth Soccer Association is hosting a week long summer soccer camp at the Cpl. Jason K. LaFleur Sports Complex on Maple Street behind Lockhart Junior High School. The camp began on Monday, July 7 and runs through Friday, July 11.
Trained and certified coaches Philip Denzel Thomas and Olly Robinson, both of Alton,
England, are heading the Major League Soccer (MLS) Camp this year.
Both young men ran all over the field with the little campers on Monday morning and seemed to enjoy every minute of it.
Tuesday was “Wear Red, White and Blue day,” and most campers wore the appropriate colors for their drills.
Thomas, who has been coaching soccer for six years, is on his second year of working with the MLS camps.
“I was in Connecticut last year,” he said. “But I have been coaching soccer for some time now. We transferred to Dallas this year and it’s been great.”
The MLS coaches (from Dallas) are sent to different places throughout the South. They spend a week at each destination through the summer camp season. Thomas and Robinson were lucky enough to get sent to Lockhart for a week.
“We’re living on a ranch,” Thomas said. “It’s quite a new experience for us. It’s great fun.”
Robinson is on his first year with the MLS camps and is a first time visitor to Texas. He has been in the United States before but never this far south.
“This is my first year with the Major League Soccer camps,” Robinson said. “Last year, I was doing summer camps in Casco, Maine. This year I am currently living in Dallas. I have been there since March and will be there until November. We usually sign on for nine months.”
When asked what he had been doing since he got here in March, Robinson was quick to answer they had been working hard on training for the camps.
“The first 10 weeks in Dallas we spent training, “Robinson said. “We trained for these week long camps. After this we go back to Dallas. Other coaches were sent to places like Salt Lake City.”
Thomas and Robinson will return to Dallas in the fall for another 10 weeks of additional training.
“It is very hot here compared to the rain I get all the time where I’m from” Robinson said as he wiped sweat from his brow.
Thomas joined in with a little self-promotion before heading back to his little campers.
“From here we go to Austin on Friday,” he said, “ So if any local girls want to show us around… we’re O.K. with that.”
Both Thomas and Robinson shared a laugh as they went back to doing what they do best, coaching soccer.
The MLS camp sessions were originally scheduled from 8:30 – 10 a.m. for ages 4-5, 10 – 11:30 a.m. for ages 6-7 and 5:30-8:30 p.m. for players 8-years and older, but it was decided on Monday to combine both morning classes to one 10 – 11:30 a.m. session for 4-7 year olds.
See you next year.