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Coach offers goal-keeper camp

By Kevin Eckleberry

kevin.eckleberry@lagrangenews.com

LAGRANGE – It can be the loneliest position on the field.

In soccer, the goal keeper is the last line of defense.

When everything else breaks down, it’s up to the goal keeper to save the day, to keep the ball from finding the back of the net.

“The great ones are the ones that don’t do anything all game, and then make the couple of saves they have to make,” said Colin Ross, the girls’ soccer coach at LaGrange High.

It’s with the importance of the position in mind that Ross decided to offer a goal -keeper camp last week.

The four-day camp that wrapped up on Friday was held at the Troup County Soccer Complex.

Ross focused on a different skill set each day.

“Monday, we did our set position, and low balls. Yesterday, we did diving fundamentals,” Ross said. “Today is going to be break-aways, and tomorrow is high balls. So those are kind of the main core aspects.”

Among the 11 participants were some players who have already been playing goal-keeper, including Maurie White, who was in goal for a LaGrange team that won a region title and reached the elite eight of the state tournament last spring.

Other campers are just learning the position.

Ross said the goal for all of them is take things from the camp they can use to become more effective goal keepers.

“What we talked a lot about yesterday is baby steps,” Ross said. “We spent probably 15 minutes working on their knees, going through their diving principles, before we even moved on to their feet. And another thing is giving them the skills to teach themselves, so when they get on the field, they can always adjust themselves. If they do one thing, they can go back and say was I set too early, or I didn’t step quick enough. So that’s kind of the goal.”

Ross said his goal is to begin offering goal-keeper clinics on a regular basis.

“I want to start it up where it’s a weekly thing, where one night is a younger group, and another night is an older group,” Ross said. “We just want to improve the game as much as possible.”