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St. Francis camp broadens to whole community

Soccer: CV High coaches join Golden Knights' Coach Appels to welcome more of community.

August 07, 2012|By Gabriel Rizk, gabriel.rizk@latimes.com
  • Players were divided baed on age and skill into different groups with groups competing in the gym at St. Francis High after the morning temperatures got too hot and humid at the St. Francis Soccer Camp.
Players were divided baed on age and skill into different… (Tim Berger/Staff…)

LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — As it continues to expand its reach, the St. Francis Summer Soccer Camp brought together the coaching minds behind three of the preeminent high school programs in the area when it convened last week.

Crescenta Valley High girls' soccer Coach Jorden Schulz, whose team won a Pacific League co-title last season, and Crescenta Valley boys' Coach Grant Clark, who piloted the Falcons to a CIF Southern Section Division IV title in March, joined forces with veteran St. Francis Coach Glen Appels for a comprehensive weeklong soccer clinic at St. Francis that ended on Friday.

Appels, who has run some form of the camp every summer for the past 24 years, while maintaining the Golden Knights program as a perennial Mission League contender and CIF Division I playoff mainstay, has been looking to take the camp in new directions since the CIF relaxed its regulations on enrollment three years ago.

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"There's some kids that go here, but we also have a group of kids who are young players and we have the Crescenta Valley coaches helping us out this year, so it's a little bit more of a community thing," said Appels, whose camp was limited for many years to kids enrolled at St. Francis by Southern Section regulations aimed at restricting use of camps as recruitment tools. "It's been good. ...They've loosened up the rules a lot, which is nice. The guys who go out and recruit were going to do that anyway and this way the kids can come out and have fun and we can have young ladies at the camp."

The camp featured about 65 campers ages 9-18, with a dozen girls among the group, while nine coaches, including Appels and his full staff, the CV coaches and a goalkeeper coach, made sure everyone got plenty of attention and instruction.

"It's been great, we have this camp just to come out and have fun," said St. Francis senior-to-be Luke Hamanaka, who's been at the camp the past four years. "We have the younger kids out with our potential JV and varsity teams, so it's a good opportunity to see our incoming freshmen and it's a good opportunity for coaches to see how players have developed since the season ended."

Broken down into three age groups, with some consideration given to skill, the camp was also divided between three stations up and down the vertically oriented campus nestled into the side of a hill.

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