WILLIAMSTOWN - Over 100 young soccer players were in attendance this week for the fourth annual Williamstown High School Youth Soccer Camp at the Waybright Youth Soccer Fields.
Kids ranging from the ages of four to 14 participated in the evening portion of the camp while both the high school boys and girls teams were on hand for morning instruction.
For the fourth straight year, Patrick Holquin, the head girls soccer coach at West Virginia Wesleyan University was the camp director.
MIKE MORRISON The Marietta Times
Camp director Patrick Holguin (left, standing—in red T-shirt) addresses campers at the Williamstown Waybright youth soccer pitch Tuesday night.
"This is a camp designed to raise money for the Williamstown High School soccer program as well as to build awareness and generate excitement for the sport for the town of Williamstown," said Holquin, who at one time coached both mens and womens soccer at Marietta College.
Mike Albertson, the head coach of the Lady Yellowjacket soccer team, feels that having Holquin participate in camp is a huge reason for the increased numbers (115) which have almost tripled since the initial camp held four summers ago (40).
"It just continues to grow year after year," said Albertson of the camp. "I attribute that growth to Coach Holquin coming in and working with the kids. It's a big undertaking and without his help, this would not be the successful camp that it has become."
The high school team's not only attend the camp in the morning, they serve as camp counselors for the evening sessions.
"They are given a curriculum to pretty much facilitate," said Holquin of the role the high school players play in the camp.
"The high school kids are doing a great job. They are exited about working with the younger kids and you can see how much they are enjoying it."
While the camp does benefit the Williamstown soccer program, its is not limited to just kids from Williamstown.
"We are pulling kids from Marietta, the Parkersburg area, up the river, so we are drawing kids from all over the area," said Albertson. "This is one of the biggest camps in the state."
Both men agreed that the camp can be a huge asset for Williamstown soccer in the future.
"By building a foundation and building the excitement at this age it will definitely help at the higher levels," said Albertson, who is also the president of the Williamstown recreational program.
Holquin is thrilled to get the opportunity to come back each year to help with the camp.
"Mike (Alberstson) has just been so dedicated to this camp, the least I could do is come back and work with the kids," said Holquin.