Players challenged at soccer camp
     2015-08-06      By McKenna Copsey    news@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Frank Marquez/Gering Citizen - Left to right, Jacob Pieper, Matthew Bebo, Brett Peterson fight for possession while Isaac Bowman looks on during a scrimmage at WNCC on Saturday. Peterson was not a camp participant.  
Soccer players from around the area gathered at the Landers Soccer Complex in Scottsbluff last week to sharpen their individual and team skills at the annual WNCC Soccer Camp. The camp was open to recreational and competitive players of all ages to participate in their choice of a morning or evening session.

Soccer players attended the camp July 27-31. Head coach of the men’s and women’s Cougar soccer teams Todd Rasnic along with the assistant coach Jim Miller led players through a series of drills and scrimmages. Former WNCC soccer players Joey and Katie Rasnic, and Gage Smith also helped out during the sessions.

“It’s a bit of a challenge when you don’t have the numbers to be at the highest level, but it’s still something worth doing,” Coach Rasnic said. “If you want the game to continue to grow in the valley, we have to be responsible for the people who live here, and that’s part of what we try to do with our soccer camp.”

Each session cost $90 dollars per player which included a camp T-shirt, and a soccer ball. About 75 players from around the Panhandle competed at the camp with the majority participating in only one of the sessions.

“We’re looking at changing the age level for the evening camp so that we get players who are going to be able to function at the right level when they come out.” Coach Rasnic said.

Todd said he watches the local high school and club level competitions to evaluate what skills are lacking in the players. Then, he will form a training plan for the camp to work on some of the things he believes will help the players function at a higher level.

“I’ve always told my players, ‘soccer is a simple game complicated by coaches,’ so if you can break down whatever you’re trying to teach to its basic component, and then build your session from there, typically players get more benefit out of it,” Coach Rasnic said.

A lot of sessions are built by Coach Rasnic when he needs them, but he added that if there’s a good training activity he could use that comes from a coach who coaches at a higher level, he uses it. He then adapts those training activities to the needs of his players by changing either the speed, space, or the opponents in the drill.

The college soccer teams started their pre-season on Aug. 3. They will work during three sessions a day. The morning session will be focused on conditioning, the afternoon on weight lifting or team building exercises, and the evening on tactical skills.

The annual WNCC soccer alumni scrimmage will take place Saturday, Aug. 8, where previous Cougars will compete against the new players. Women will play at noon and the men at two. Their first game will be the following Saturday at Bellevue University.
Classes start Monday, Aug. 17.

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