Coach Owin Whelan organizes the first drill at the South Whidbey soccer camp Thursday. (Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

Coach Owin Whelan organizes the first drill at the South Whidbey soccer camp Thursday. (Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

European coaches lead South Whidbey soccer camp

British Soccer Camp presented by Challenger Sports made a stop at Langley this week, and coaches Danni Rigby and Owin Whelan liked what they saw.

Rigby, who is from England, said for youngsters in the United States, “it’s about the fun out here; it’s more enjoyable.”

Whelan, who is from Ireland, said European kids take soccer more seriously. There are many more sports in the U.S., he noted, so American youngsters don’t focus on soccer as much as those in Europe.

“Here, it’s good fun,” Whelan said.

That makes coaching in the United States “quite rewarding,” Rigby added.

After nine weeks traveling around the Pacific Northwest coaching different camps, Rigby and Whelan’s tour of duty wraps up with the stop at South Whidbey.

Whelan said the kids at South Whidbey — campers range from 3 to 16 — are more skilled than at most other camps.

“They strike the ball properly,” he said. “You can tell they have played on some teams.”

Rigby praised the South Whidbey Sports complex.

“These are the best fields, the nicest grass, we have seen,” she said.

The Langley camp, offered by the South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District, ran Monday through Friday, Aug. 6-10, and included five different sessions with kids divided by age.

Henry Queen, 5, also attended the British Soccer Camp held in Anacortes last week.

“I like soccer a lot,” he said. “I like it because I get to practice with my mom and I get to practice with my coaches.”

Damian Morrison, 8, said soccer is his favorite sport.

Earlier this summer, he participated in the Skyhawks Multi-Sports Camp, which included introductions to basketball, baseball, flag football and soccer, but said he enjoys soccer the most because he has been playing it since his birth.

Spencer Jonas, 11, gave baseball camp a try this summer and also plays ultimate frisbee, but favors soccer.

The best part of soccer camp is “doing all the games,” he said.

Jonas added he enjoys the sport because he likes to score goals.

“I also like to block goals when I get to play goalie.”

Soccer is also Landon Thomas’ favorite sport, and he enjoyed the opportunity to watch the recent World Cup.

All of the youngsters, including Thomas, 10, said the best part of camp was playing Lightning, a quick-paced scoring game.

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

More in Sports

South Whidbey athletes receive letters, team awards

South Whidbey High School wrapped up the fall sports season by awarding… Continue reading

Lynch finishes 13th at state meet / Swimming

For South Whidbey High School sophomore Ashley Lynch, 13 isn’t an unlucky… Continue reading

South Whidbey athletes collect all-league honors

South Whidbey High School made a strong impression on the North Sound… Continue reading

Falcon boys finish 11th, girls 12th at state meet / Cross country

The South Whidbey High School girls cross country team “had a great… Continue reading

Falcons fall 1 match short of state tournament / Volleyball

After blanking the Northwest School 3-0 Saturday, Nov. 3, in the bi-district… Continue reading

Lynch qualifies for state meet / Swimming

Ashley Lynch will represent South Whidbey High School at the state swim… Continue reading

Solid season ends with playoff loss / Football

Who would of thought two years ago that the South Whidbey High… Continue reading

Drye helps revive Falcon soccer program

From her perch as the only four-year member of the South Whidbey… Continue reading

Trojans end South Whidbey’s season / Soccer

Meridian eliminated the South Whidbey High School soccer team from the bi-district… Continue reading

Update: Falcons earn spot in bi-district tournament / Volleyball

The South Whidbey volleyball team got the win it needed the most… Continue reading

South Whidbey edges Bush at bi-district / Soccer

Keeping its hopes alive for a second-consecutive trip to the state tournament,… Continue reading

South Whidbey 1 win from bi-district berth / Volleyball

After splitting a pair of matches on the first day of the… Continue reading