BHS coach pleased with camp numbers
Nick Barkley almost missed his one shining moment at the Baldwin High School soccer camp last week.
The BHS junior injured his knee wakeboarding right before camp started. He sat out a couple of days of camp, but returned just in time for Friday's scrimmage.
With the game tied 3-3, Barkley headed a corner kick into the goal in the waning minutes. The goal was enough to give the red team a 4-3 victory.
"It was a rush," Barkley said. "Hopefully, you're going to see a lot of those this season."
Barkley and other members of the BHS team enjoyed Friday's scrimmage, because it helped them realize where the players are at during the summer.
"It was a lot of fun," Barkley said. "We got to see where everybody was most comfortable on the field. We got to learn where everybody is at right now."
Sophomore Anna Baughan enjoyed her second summer soccer camp and the scrimmage.
"It was fun to play with everyone again," Baughan said. "We got to practice passing and play again."
The camp began July 23 and ended Friday. It was the third-annual camp for the Bulldogs. Coach Gus Wegner was pleased with the numbers that attended the camp.
"Camp went very well," Wegner said. "We had great attendance. We had 29 kids out of -- what I see for the season -- 32 or 33 kids. So, 90 percent attendance at camp is excellent.
"The other thing I like is their attitude," Wegner said. "I could tell from the second day of camp on that they are working hard, getting to know each other and they have this attitude of enjoying their time out here. They are having fun. They are taking it informally, but putting a lot of effort into it."
Wegner had some help at camp this summer. BHS assistant coach Art Cederholm helped at the camp. This is his first high school coaching job and he liked what he saw from the Bulldogs.
"I was very pleased with camp. I was impressed since I didn't know what to expect," Cederholm said. "This is my first high school job. I've just heard from Gus and the activities director where the team is at and how it's improved. I was impressed and pleased with how well they played."
Cederholm wasn't the only helper at the Bulldog camp. Baker University women's soccer players Annie Cook and Rachel Shepard worked the camp.
The two Baker players helped instruct the BHS players during drills. They each coached one of the teams during the scrimmage.
"It was nice to be taught by them," Baughan said. "It's a new perspective on the game. I enjoyed their coaching."
Wegner was happy with the camp instructors this year.
"They've had excellent instruction from Art and the two Baker soccer players, Rachel and Annie," Wegner said. "I think the kids have learned a lot."
All week long the Bulldogs worked on soccer fundamentals. They practiced passing, dribbling and defensive skills. Because the coaches couldn't cover all aspects of the game during the camp, they held the scrimmage.
Wegner hoped the scrimmage helped the players learn how to shoot better because they worked a lot on shooting all week.
"We tried to work on shooting, especially from midfield," Wegner said. "We wanted kids to have lots of touches with the ball."
Besides reviewing the fundamentals, the Bulldogs also enjoyed spending time with their teammates once again. The last soccer game for BHS was nearly nine months ago, so time together was enjoyed for everyone.
"It was a lot of fun," Barkley said. "I met a lot of new people. It is nice to see all of the new talent come out this year. The season should be a lot of fun."
Wegner also enjoyed spending time with his players again. He also likes camp because it gives him a chance to meet the incoming freshmen before practice starts Aug. 13.
"It's really helped us get to know the ninth graders," Wegner said. "We know the sophomores through the seniors well, but this gives us a chance to see the incoming freshmen. I think they are an excellent group of freshmen."
Some of the BHS players will be running and conditioning themselves next week to prepare for the first day of practice.
"You sort of get out of breath after not doing anything all summer," Barkley said. "That's why we are doing these practices on our own before practice starts."
The Bulldogs begin practice Aug. 13 and their first game is Aug. 27. Wegner is ready for the season and the challenges that lie ahead.
"When Aug. 13 gets here, we have two weeks until the first game," Wegner said. "I've stressed that with all of the kids. Once the practice starts, we have two weeks before the first game. So the camp is instrumental in setting the tone and expectations for the season."