U15 soccer teams get  assist from Kiwanians

By Jon Clark
STAR CORRESPONDENT

   The grass in corners of parks and back yards and open fields and church yards, even Sycamore Shoals State Park has become practice centers for young and budding soccer players.
   Elizabethton Soccer Association, Inc. (ESA) president, Charles LaPorte says, "All we're asking for is a patch of grass."
   A patch of grass is sufficient to teach many soccer skills and have some good games. However, once players reach the strength and skill of a U15 player a "patch of grass" is no longer sufficient.
   A full blown soccer field is required for games and practice in order to develop more advanced skills. That is why Kiwanis Park has been selected by the U15 teams (all four of them!) to host all their activities.
   Jon Egeler, head coach of the U15 teams, commented on the overall lack of facilities in Elizabethton but expressed his appreciation to both the city and the Kiwanians for the field at Kiwanis Park.
   This sentiment, echoed by Charles LaPorte, is also seen in the ESA's policy to give priority to the U15 and U16 teams for practice on the choice facilities.
   Coach Egeler brings over 30 years of soccer experience to help his teams develop. When asked what his priorities for his players were he responded: "My first priority is for the players to enjoy the game of soccer. I want soccer to be a good experience for the players. My second goal is to develop and train players into competitive athletes - that love to play soccer."
   Coach Egeler, proud of the growth ESA is having, has enlisted the help of four assistant coaches/refs to help him work with his 40 plus players.
   Coach Egeler knew that most of the players at this level were experienced soccer players so he selected only assistant coaches that had at least college level soccer experience.
   His five assistant coaches, Enoch Birx, Jon Chin, Brian Lindner, Rob Peterson and Steve Young are all Moody Aviation students or instructors.
   It was probably to Coach Egeler's advantage that he happened to be an instructor at Moody Aviation himself.
   Teams were selected among the players in an attempt to match them up as evenly as possible. The action consists of 7 vs. 7 (seven against seven).
   Goal keepers or keepers for short, are rotated.
   Coach Egeler is thrilled with his players, saying, "These players have excellent attitudes with an eagerness to learn and rise to the challenges they experience."
   Next team to examine: ESA's U16 Competitive Traveling Team.