As a group of youngsters gathered on the football field at Edgewood Middle School, Jordan Allcorn called out, “What are we gonna do today? You wanna kick some more goals?”
Four-year-old Remi Hood was the first to respond.
“Yeah!” Remi yelled with both hands hoisted high above his head.
It was the second day of Moriarty High School’s annual Pintos Summer Soccer Camp, an all-ages instructional event held June 20-21 at Edgewood Middle School.
Allcorn, Moriarty’s boys varsity head coach, led the camp with the help of a couple of his assistant coaches and a handful of his players.
Allcorn said the camp is somewhat of a fundraiser for the high school’s soccer program, but its main purpose is to connect with the community—particularly the youth soccer community.
“It’s a way to let them get to know Pintos soccer,” Allcorn said. “And learn some things about soccer in general, especially the younger guys.”
Like most summer sports camps, there was a lot of focus on the fundamentals of the game: dribbling, defending, passing, and shooting.
“We also teach them a little about technique,” Allcorn said. “And then we play soccer and have fun with it.”
Remi’s mother, Dawn Hood—who admitted that “soccer is kind of in our family”— said she’s been bringing her kids to the camp for four years.
“I like that they incorporate all ages, there’s really no age limit,” she said. “And I really like that they include the high school team, the high school boys have a lot of patience with the younger kids, so I think it’s a good experience for all of the kids, not just the ones participating.”
Hood’s 11-year-old daughter Jaelyn White also participated in the camp, and her older son, Austin, was one of Allcorn’s player assistants.
Near the end of the camp Allcorn admitted that he’s never coached youth soccer—aside from teenagers in high school—so the annual camps are a bit of a challenge for him.
“It’s definitely different,” he said. “But I enjoy it, and the kids enjoy it—that’s what matters.”
Ger has been writing and shooting photos of high school sports for The Independent for 15 years. His dedication to youth athletics goes beyond sports reporting. He is past president of East Mountain Little League and works as a baseball umpire. He lives in Edgewood with his family.