Archive for Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Clinic attracts another form of Kansas Ctiy soccer

August 27, 2003

This year, local soccer youth took instruction from a shooting Comet rather than a masterful Wizard.

Unable to make a trip to Tonganoxie for what would have been their soccer team's seventh consecutive season, members of the MSL Kansas City Wizards weren't in town for a summer soccer clinic. But the Tonganoxie Recreation Commission booked Kansas City's other soccer franchise for the camp last Friday at Chieftain Park.

"Wild" Wes Wade of the Kansas City Comets gave instruction to about 35 area youths, demonstrating various soccer techniques. At one point, he even brought parents into the mix for a drill.

"It was neat because they had something for everyone," said TRC director Mark Zerrer. "It was neat. It was a really good deal."

Wade, a 12-year veteran and seven-time All-Star selection, gave campers posters, shirts, key chains and also signed autographs.

Participation was down this year from 75 a year ago and about 100 the year before, but Zerrer attributed that to the heat and the one-night format.

For a majority of those six years, the commission had a two-night clinic, which Zerrer plans to try again next year.

Wade expressed interest in coming back next August, possibly for a three- or five-day clinic.

The Comets play their season opener Oct. 11 against the St. Louis Steamers in Kemper Arena.

TRC youth soccer will begin more than a month earlier with the first matches set for Sept. 6. There will be plenty of Tonganoxie soccer players this fall. Roughly 260 youths signed up for this year's leagues, making them one of the largest groups the commission has sponsored.

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