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Wilsonville soccer is in the midst of a three week camp to build skill, raise funds for the season

SPOKESMAN PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - The team works on quick passing through cones, getting touches in before the start of tryouts and the regular season. WILSONVILLE — Though summer vacation is in full effect and kids are away from school, the work has not stopped for some. Each sport has summer practices, leagues, and games going on, and the high school's soccer program is no exception.

Last week, the Wildcats soccer team began week one of its three week training camp to get its players experience. The level of experience varies across the camps participants. Some athletes are returning from last year's varsity squad, while some are new to the program entirely. With an average turnout of 25 athletes, according to head coach Ian Reschke, it's right about where he expects to be at this point in the year.

SPOKESMAN PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Wilsonvilles coaches give instructions on the drills the team will be going through over the course of the three hour practices. "We had four teams last year, so we probably should have more, but with summer jobs, vacations, you're going to get a different number each night," Reschke said. "There's going to be some ebb and flow to that. Who's going to show up and when? It's summer training, it's optional. But this is encouraging, the number that we have here. I'm pleased with how things are going."

While the camps are open to everybody looking to participate, there is a $100 fee required before participating. The money raised during the camp goes into a general fund for the soccer team, and is used to replace or repair equipment, gear, and uniforms should the need arise. The most common expenditure is soccer balls lost beyond the practice field.

"You'd be surprised how many soccer balls we lose a year playing on that junior varsity field with all the brush back there," Reschke said. "It's like quicksand back there. They get kicked back there and you can't find them until in the winter when everything has died off. It's mostly soccer balls and socks and various equipment, and that's what it goes towards." SPOKESMAN PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Wilsonvilles soccer players for the upcoming season warm up under the setting summer sun.

Last year the Wilsonville varsity squad went 4-8 in the regular season, failing to secure a berth in the playoffs. The result was disappointing considering two years ago the team had made it to the state finals. In looking ahead to this year, Reschke is hoping to use this camp as a means of getting a jump on the season and this year's competition.

"It's a combination of getting their feet under them with the conditioning, but also getting their touches," Reschke said. "Some of these kids don't play club soccer, so this is a great way to, in our three weeks of camp, to get those hundreds, thousands, of touches on their feet. Receiving the ball, passing the ball, and striking the ball that they would be doing otherwise the first few weeks after tryouts.

"We're trying to get a jump on that," Reschke added. "Trying to brush up on some of those skills before tryouts begin to get a little bit of a head start."

Reschke and his coaching personnel, like every other program during the summer, are sharing athletes across sports and leagues. It isn't a concern though for the head coach. As long as his athletes are being active and doing something of their choosing, there aren't any worries.

"There's all kinds of things that are pulling these kids in all number of different directions," Reschke said. "So, we just want our kids to be active in something. We're not going to hold it against them for not being here. It's the summer time, they should have some time off, and doing the things that they want. I think we've got the kids that are in town and want to be here, and I'm just assuming other people are off on vacation and doing other club things, and that's fine with us."

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