Soccer camp going strong
Published 3:42 pm Thursday, June 20, 2019
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
Camps come and go, but there has been one constant in Troup County for nearly three decades now.
The first Jeff Geeter soccer camp was held in 1990, and it is still going strong.
The 29th edition of Geeter’s camp is being held this week at LaGrange College, with close to 100 boys and girls participating.
“You forget sometimes just how long you’ve been doing it,” Geeter said. “I’m real proud of the fact that we’ve been able to keep it going this long. The people I’ve got working, they’re the ones that make it function.”
Geeter was the men’s soccer coach at LaGrange College from 1990 to 2013, and he also had two stints as the women’s soccer coach that lasted a total of 14 seasons.
Since 2013, Geeter has been LaGrange College’s strength and conditioning coordinator.
“You see a lot of the same kids year after year, and you get a lot of new ones every year, too,” Geeter said.
Geeter has plenty of help with the camp.
Among the instructors are both of Callaway’s head soccer coaches, Mike Petite and Shonna Yawn, as well as LaGrange High girls’ coach Colin Ross.
Also helping out is LaGrange College women’s coach Fred Wagenaar, as well as a handful of LaGrange College players.
“It’s been going good,” said Petite, who coaches Callaway’s boys’ team. “We’ve got lucky (with the weather). The first day was warm. Yesterday we had clouds, and today’s been the same. The first day they were about done, but they’ve bounced back.”
Petite added that “we’ve got good numbers. We’ve got a ton of little kids, which was awesome.”
There are more than 80 campers participating, and Geeter appreciates the assistance of the Troup County Parks and Recreation Commission in getting the word out.
“You get so much help from the recreation department,” Geeter said. “They provide us with all the smaller-sized balls. And for a couple of months leading up to it they’ll send out an email blast to every kid that played this year. So they’re a huge help.”
One thing that has changed this year with the camp is the emphasis placed on goal-keeping.
Ross, who attended a three-day clinic at the IMG Academy in Florida earlier this month, worked closely with the goal keepers.
“In the past, we’ve always had a 30 or 40-minute (goal-keeping session in the middle,” Geeter said. “This year, if we were able to do it, we wanted to do more, and it’s been good.”
Ross has enjoyed working with the campers.
“They have done well, paid attention,” Ross said. “We have some kids that are really interested in it. Hopefully we’ll continue to grow it where I’m running a goal-keeping academy out of the camp.”