In the summertime, Montrose High School soccer players Shayla Geesing and John Thompson can be found at the MHS youth soccer camp.
They said the experience helped them get into the sport because they looked up to the MHS students who first showed them the fundamentals.
Now, Geesing and Thompson, both seniors, have paid it forward to the next wave of athletes who’ll one day don an Indian uniform.
“The kids are great,” Thompson said. “It’s great when the kids engage themselves with the drills and want to learn.”
The MHS boys soccer team is currently hosting a youth camp for ages 5-14 which started Tuesday and concludes today at Sunset Mesa Soccer Fields. Over 100 kids came out to master the basics of the sport.
“We try to help them learn as much as they can,” said MHS boys and girls soccer coach Cassie Snyder. “But at the same time, we want them to have a lot of fun.”
As for the high school athletes turned coaches for the week, they’ll end up better players by teaching the sport, Snyder said. Participating will show that they have mastered the fundamentals.
She added they’ll gain leadership skills which can translate to different parts of their lives.
“It’s a way to serve the community that’s supporting their program. I think it’s really important for them to be actively involved with community support,” Snyder said.
That involvement will also help Snyder and her other coaches get an idea of who’ll play high school soccer in the next few years.
The Montrose coach believes that credit goes toward high school players, saying they have been important role models to the younger campers.
“They have a ton of fun with the kids. They’re super excited,” Snyder said.
But she also looks forward to seeing which young kid will become an MHS soccer player.
“It’s exciting for me because I get to watch them grow when they’re 5 or 6 up until their 18-years-old,” Snyder said. “That’s pretty awesome.”
This camp wouldn’t have been possible without the community’s support, she noted. By hosting over 100 children means soccer is alive and well in Montrose.
“That’s pretty special to me,” Snyder said.
Andrew Kiser is the Montrose Daily Press’ sports/business writer. Follow him on Twitter @andrew_kpress.