Future Stars Soccer Camp a Success at Lakeland High School

Posted by Tim Hourahan on Aug 01 2021 at 01:57PM PDT

Future Stars Soccer Camp a Success at Lakeland High School

Tim Hourahan

SHRUB OAK, N.Y. – The 10th annual Future Stars Soccer Camp took place at Lakeland High School from June 28 to July 1.

Running the camp was Lakeland boys’ soccer coach, Tim Hourahan, who has done so for the Shrub Oak Athletic Club since the camp’s inception in 2011, except for last year because of the pandemic.

“We had 97 total boys and girls from as young as 5 years old through the age of 12,” Hourahan said. “This is our club’s youth camp and in August, I will run a travel camp for all of our boys travel soccer players and teams U8-U14 that will be playing in this fall’s 2021 club season.”

“We call it teaching players the Lakeland way, but in reality, it’s really to just continue to grow the love of the sport for the younger players in our town,” Hourahan said. “We will teach them some basic skills, but really we want them all to have a great time, leaving wanting more soccer.”

For one Hornet, rising junior Michael Rodriguez, a central-attacking midfielder, the camp has come full circle. Rodriguez helped out as he instructed the youngsters as a counselor this summer after being one of the campers in the first year of the event.

“I always enjoyed participating in this camp,” Rodriguez said. “It was so fun for me as a kid. All the counselors and coaches were so fun, and I wanted to be just like them.”

He now enjoys the role as counselor.

“I wanted the kids to have the same fun experience I used to have, and I enjoyed it myself,” Rodriguez said. “I love soccer and want to spread as much as I know about the game to the future generation.”

Rodriguez is one of the current high-school stars on both the Lakeland boys and girls varsity programs that were on hand at camp, which has been a staple of it from the outset.

“It really helps build the connection to have the high-school players around the younger kids as they all look up to them” Hourahan said. “And it is not just during this week of soccer camp that these boys are around, as we have handful of players who are volunteering to coach in the rec program on Saturdays year-round. I also have a few of my players come with me when I am training the travel teams to help demonstrate drills. All of this continues to bridge that gap from the youth club to the high-school soccer programs.

“In addition, I have some alumni players who graduated from Lakeland and are currently playing college ball help out,” Hourahan said. “This year, even Johnny Denis came back to work with the youth players in our community. It was great for kids to see that you can go from Lakeland to College to US Youth National team and even the Cosmos.”

The camp shows is an example of how popular soccer has become in the area.

“Our soccer club, like many towns around us in this area, has really grown over the past decade or so,” Hourahan said. “There are so many more opportunities for kids in this area to play soccer and our club is no different. I started coaching for Shrub Oak Athletic Club around 2008, mainly just on the travel side of things, but as time has gone on, I have taken on a few different larger roles inside of the club, including running this camp. It has been great to see the growth and love of the sport in this community.”

For Hourahan, his involvement in the club is truly a personal one.

“Yes, I coach in this town at the high school, but I am also a dad to four boys who are or will all be playing soccer in this club on a variety of levels, so we are invested,” Hourahan said.


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