On Friday, October 14, Vista Ridge Academy, in Erie, hosted 63, third through eighth grade, students for Soccer Jamboree. Players were from Adventist Christian School in Greeley, Brighton Adventist Academy in Brighton, HMS Richards Adventist School in Loveland, and Vista Ridge Academy.
Sandy Hodgson is the Principal at Vista Ridge Academy. She said this was the second year that the school has hosted Soccer Jamboree. “We love organizing it. It’s centrally located, and we just love being able to open up our facility for all the schools to come and enjoy the event together,” said Hodgson.
Every Friday, Vista Ridge Academy begins their school day with Chapel, a worship program. Six students, Juniors and Seniors, from Campion Academy presented at Chapel and following Chapel, put on a 45-minute Soccer Clinic for all the student soccer players. Players were divided into six groups and were taught fundamental soccer skills.
Maria Bass, a 7th grader from HMS Richards Adventist School, learned new skills in the clinic. “I learned how to throw in the ball, how to stop the ball with your foot and passing,” said Bass.
Randy Ottschofski, also known as Mr. O, is the Athletic Director for Campion Academy. Ottschofski said it’s no use to coach sports unless you’re teaching leadership. “This experience will give our students the chance to use their leadership skills. It also gives our students a chance to start mentorships with some of the younger kids,” said Ottschofski.
Following the clinic, all the school teams were divided and mixed into four new teams to play in a tournament. All the teams played each team, for a total of three, 30 minute, games. Each team was coached by a Campion Academy student.
Marit Guild is the Physical Education teacher at Vista Ridge Academy and one of the event organizers. “Our goal for Soccer Jamboree is to give the students fun and practical game-play experience while fostering a greater sense of camaraderie with other Adventist schools. The students really enjoy that we mix up the various schools’ teams giving them a chance to play with students they normally play against,” said Guild.
Many parents and students liked having the teams mixed into different teams. Marcia Pearson, is the mother of 7th grader, Lizzie, from Adventist Christian School. “I like it because it gives them a chance to play with the kids that they play against. It just broadens their experience,” said Pearson. Her daughter, Lizzie, played defense and said she liked being able to kick the ball really far. “Playing on the mixed team is pretty awesome, because you get to make new friends that you haven’t ever met before,” said Lizzie.
Karson is a 7th grader at Vista Ridge Academy. After his team won their first game, he said he liked being divided into new teams. “It’s fun, and you get to meet new people,” said Karson.
Brighton Adventist Academy’s Soccer Coach, Abner Campos, is a senior at Union College and serving as Intern Associate Pastor at the Brighton Adventist Church. He said it has been special being able to cheer for other students from other teams. “Seeing our kids interact and play with students from the other teams is awesome because I’m sure they wouldn’t get the experience any other way,” said Campos.
Many volunteers helped make the event a success. Davin Hammond, the 7th and 8th Grade Teacher from HMS Richards Adventist School, was keeping score for the games. He said he hopes his students will gain a friend or two for life from this event. “Maybe they’ll all end up in Academy together, and this could be a starting point for that,” said Hammond.
Vista Ridge Academy will begin Volleyball season with its first practice on Tuesday, October 18. Their first game will be in November.