With the Goose Creek Memorial soccer teams combining efforts to run their soccer camp as one, girls coach Roman Huizar has seen the benefits of the event, that wrapped up this week.
“We have worked hard to promote and establish the GCM summer soccer camp and we are happy to see where it has reached today,” Huizar said. “This is our fifth year hosting the camp and our mindset since the beginning was to help build the interest of soccer within in the community in a fun and positive way.
“We only had about seven kids and only one was a girl in our first camp, however we still ran the camp as if we had 100 campers. The following year we had about 12 campers, the third year we grew to about 30 campers, and then last year 96 campers, and this year 117 campers.”
The growth in the interest of the camp has motivated Huizar as he sees the sport grow in the Baytown
community and surrounding area and thus his program sees the residual affects of having more and more players come out for the Lady Patriots.
However, there is still work to do to generate more interest as the larger, younger groups get older.
“Having been here for seven years now and going out to the local soccer clubs on the weekends and seeing the soccer fields filled with young female players is really neat, but participation seems to drop once they reach that middle school age,” Huizar said. “There doesn’t seem to be programs or interest for their age groups to continue locally and so they must find competitive soccer outside of school in other areas.
“However, in having been visiting middle schools and talking with parents, there has been a change. There are several youths’ girls’ soccer teams that are very competitive and those girls will be coming into high school with a lot of competitive soccer experience which only helps what we are trying to do here at the high school level.”
Most of Huizar’s current and incoming players have known the GCM coach since middle school and he has been able to watch many of them play club soccer. So their progress is definitely on his radar.
“So, with the help of middle soccer I have been able to create that bridge between middle school and high school,” he said. “It’s cool to be at this week’s camp or middle school games and hear these young players talk about how they can’t wait to play at GCM.”
Huizar’s team fell just short of the Class 5A District 3 bi-district round with a relatively young team. He recognizes the program’s success since the school opened in 2007 and aims to maintain that high level of expectations.
“Like any program you want to meet and exceed the standards that have been set,” Huizar said. “This past year we started off strong but unfortunately a lot of little things throughout district eventually hurt us in the overall picture and we just finished outside of the playoffs.
“These girls will first have to be committed to meeting the programs expectations and goals, and secondly they need to be athletes, meaning that they have to do things on their own to make themselves an overall better player.”