kids come out, and our turnouts have been very good since."
Five years in, the Sidekicks Soccer Camp has been that rare
exception in the fickle world of youth athletic camps.
Because not only has it thrived, but it's continued to grow.
Originally a camp for both boys and girls, Pace and Desmond decided
to focus on coaching just girls two years ago, and their creation has
turned into arguably the best local soccer camp for girls.
In addition to getting great players to attend -- this year,
athletes from schools like Canyon Country Canyon, Quartz Hill,
Pasadena Poly, in addition to local schools like Flintridge Sacred
Heart, Crescenta Valley, Flintridge Prep and La Canada -- Pace and
Desmond have been able to secure top notch instruction from brilliant
The first four years, Aleks Mihalovic who served as the
instructor. In addition to playing professionally in the U.S.,
Mihalovic is also the director of coaching for the state of Illinois.
This year, it is Long Beach State women's soccer Coach Peter
Reynaud who is taking over the instruction duties, which is ideal for
the 50 or so 12-through 17-year-olds who are hoping to someday play
at the collegiate level.
"I'm trying to show these kids what exactly it is that college
coaches are looking for," said Reynaud, who coached Desmond at Sonoma
State, where he was named the NCAA Women's Coach of the Year in 1990
after leading his team to the Division II title. "They want to see
accurate passes, and you have to have that to play at that level."
Flintridge Sacred Heart's Katrina Payne was one of the many locals
who participated in the afternoon three-hour session, which begins at
"This is real fun, because they teach you how to do things
properly," Payne said. "It's just like practice, but funner, because
you're playing with a lot of great players."
In addition to the afternoon sessions, Desmond plus former Tologs
Jessica Hanson, Lauren Johnson and Jackie Fisher ran a morning camp
for girls ages 6 to 11.
"Different people know different tricks to coaching, and that's
the great thing about this camp," Desmond said.
In total, Pace said around 60 kids signed up for both sessions,
with each participant paying the $95 sign-up fee.