A kicking Adventure!

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 23, 2003

On the soccer field, players like Jade Bishop and Brianne Rhoades are more used to playing defense than offense.

&uot;I play defense more because I don’t have really good aim when I shoot, and I don’t put much power into the ball,&uot; admits Rhoades, who along with Bishop hopes to play for the Nansemond-Suffolk Academy junior varsity girls soccer team over the next few years. &uot;But if I keep doing drills like that, I’ll be a lot better when I get to eighth grade.&uot;

She was referring to the Suffolk YMCA’s Soccer Adventure program, which took place on Wednesday. In keeping with Healthy Kids Month, several of the YMCA’s Youth Program coaches helped youngsters like the two Lady Saints learn the basics of the world’s most popular team sport.


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The players began by dribbling the ball through a row of cones. Once finished, they learned to pass, and then shot the ball into several small baskets.

Then, however, came the biggest challenge; knocking the ball past coach Eric Thieda, playing keeper in a regulation-size goal.

It was Thieda’s favorite part. &uot;It’s all about the reaction time!&uot; he exclaims. &uot;I had a blast getting hit with shots in there!&uot;

He and Krystal Gizara will be two coaches of the YMCA’s soccer league, which begins play June 17. Signups are currently available by calling 934-9622.

&uot;Everyone wins in our league,&uot; said Gizara, a member of the Nansemond River High School girls soccer team. &uot;It’s about having fun.&uot;

Moving from the field to the sidelines might be difficult for the Lady Warrior. &uot;I’m going to be coaching three-to-five year olds, so they’ll be going a lot slower than I’m used to!&uot; she jokes. &uot;I’m going to enjoy it, because it gives me a new perspective on soccer.&uot;

The Adventure also gave Bishop a new view. &uot;It helped me keep the ball close when I dribble,&uot; she says. &uot;I’m going to use that when I play for NSA next year.&uot;