Just days before the USCB women’s soccer team reports for the 2017 season, the coaching staff will have a chance to get to know a group of players who could represent the program’s future in 2018 and beyond.
The third installment of the USCB Soccer Summer Residential & ID Camp is set for July 23-27, and if the first two years are any indication, players will come from far and wide with many eventually becoming Sand Sharks.
“Our camp serves as a major recruiting tool,” USCB head coach Ed Heberling said. “Being a small school, it is a challenge to see everyone play. By getting players to come to campus and train with us for an extended period of time, we feel we get to know them as players. There are not as many surprises if they were to attend USCB. The players also get to know our players and coaches very well to see if they can fit in with our program.”
Campers have come from nine different states in the event’s first two years, including two high school teams from Tennessee who have used the camp as their preseason training camp. Four of USCB’s eight incoming freshmen attended the 2016 camp, as well as two 2018 commits.
“The USCB camp was the best camp experience I have ever had,” said Kaylee Kumar, a 2018 USCB commit who is returning for this year’s camp. “The intense daily sessions made me push myself, and I loved that. I really enjoyed the wonderful family environment I felt while at the camp.”
Even players who don’t find a good fit with the Sand Sharks might find a place to play at the next level during their week at USCB. Coaches from The Citadel, Montreat College, SCAD Savannah, and CSU Pueblo already have committed to this year’s camp, and at least one other college coach is expected to attend, leading to more opportunities to catch a collegiate coach’s eye.
“Campers are exposed to an intense week of training and have the ability to be seen by numerous college coaches during the week,” Heberling said. “We try to provide an experience that mimics a college pre-season to allow players to have a better understanding of the level of play and expectation needed in college.”
The high-intensity camp is open to all high school-aged players. Campers will be exposed to technical development, small group training, team training, small- and full-sided games, as well as numerous competitions throughout the week. This year, the goalkeeper coach from The Citadel also will be on hand to lead small training sessions with the keepers.
“We were truly playing soccer almost every waking moment, and I could tell by the end of the camp I was getting better and learning a lot,” said Allison Schaffer, an incoming freshman from Sykesville, Maryland. “You are guaranteed to have a great time. The team, coaches, and other campers were always making me laugh. I made so many new friends.”
One of the highlights of the camp each year is the all-star game on the final night, at which the top performers from throughout the week are selected to team up against a team consisting of the coaches and USCB player who are working the camp.
“My most memorable moment from camp is playing in the all-star game,” Schaffer said. “It was great soccer and I had a lot of fun playing at that level, especially against the coaches and players.”
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