By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer
PELHAM—“It’s all about trying your best, that’s all we want from you,” Pelham High School soccer coach Patrick McDonald said to the group of boy scouts huddled around him.
On April 12, a group of nearly 20 first through fifth grade boy scouts took the field with the Pelham High School boys’ varsity and junior varsity soccer teams for a free clinic teaching the basic skills and rules of soccer.
“The scouts are looking to get belt loops in sports,” McDonald said.
And for the Pelham soccer players who volunteered their Saturday afternoon to run the clinic, McDonald said it was a chance to “give back.”
“It’s not mandatory and that’s the great part about it,” McDonald said. “It’s something to give back to the community, and what better way than through a sport that you love.”
The Pelham soccer players led the scouts through five stations of drills they designed themselves, “translating what they know from their experience on the field,” said McDonald.
Each station aimed to teach the scouts the basics of shooting, dribbling, heading, passing and trapping to the scouts. The High School players worked closely with he scouts, many of who were new to soccer, helping to guide them through the drills.
“[My son] doesn’t actually play soccer, but he’s hoping to learn some skills,” Deven Darrenkamp said of her Boy Scout son. “This is really great for the boy scouts.”
Other parents echoed Darrenkamp’s sentiment. John Vincent and Jeff Griggs said their sons were excited for the “new experience” and to be “out there on the football field.”
“He’s definitely excited,” Boy Scout father, Gozalo Herrero, said. “This whole activity is priceless.”
The Pelham soccer team wrapped up the afternoon with a game of kickball, and McDonald ended the clinic by “breaking it down as one big Panther family.”
“It’s a nice mid-season activity,” said McDonald. “It’s a good event for [the soccer team] to see future Panthers.”