Thompson set to host D2 soccer camp for another year

Published 9:40 am Friday, May 31, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By TYLER RALEY | Special to the Reporter

ALABASTER – Thompson High School is preparing to host the Dynamic Development (D2) Soccer Camp for its 11th year from June 17-21.

The camp is led by Thompson soccer coach Dan DeMasters and is for boys and girls ages 5-12. During the camp, campers will be divided into age groups of 5-6, 7-9 and 10-12.

It will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to noon on Friday as the camp makes its return to the Thompson campus for the sixth consecutive year.

The camp also includes a parents’ night on Thursday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. following the conclusion of the day’s session.

DeMasters uses the experience he has gained from his extensive playing and coaching career to teach the kids numerous soccer skills. He will teach alongside his coaching staff filled with current and former college soccer players across all divisions.

He hopes that his lessons make for a memorable experience for those that attend.

“If we can get them to love it when they’re little, then when they get older, it’s not going to be hard to compete for state championships,” camp director Dan DeMasters said. “It’s just going to be kind of ‘Oh, I love the game,’ so it’s not like hard to go out and practice extra, or go play high school or go play club or go travel and do camps at college, because when you don’t have that love for it, you’re not going to want to do the extra. I guess that’s the deep part of it.”

Coach DeMasters was a three-time high school All-American and was Pennsylvania’s Gatorade Player of the Year for 2003. He then played out his decorative collegiate career at Villanova University, where he earned All-Region and All-Conference honors as a captain for the Wildcats.

His coaching experience spans multiple levels of the sport. He coached collegiately at Eastern University and West Chester University of Pennsylvania, while also coaching at the high school level at Oak Mountain before landing his current position at Thompson.

During his time at Oak Mountain, DeMasters led the Eagles to three straight Class 7A state titles from 2015-2017.

Throughout the history of the camp, its success has been shown with the amount of camp alumni and former players that have gone on to play college soccer, with many players returning to help DeMasters coach the camp.

He is grateful for what those players do and that they never fail to stay in touch after they depart from under his wing.

“It’s a testament of the relationship building that I’ve had with my players, whether they’re the boys from Oak Mountain or the girls from Thompson,” DeMasters said. “This is the fulfilling part of my job as a teacher and a coach, is that as I get older I think those relationships will just continue to build, and camp is a part of that. It’s like an extension of the teaching and the coaching that’s sort of like that little summer taste of soccer camp with them.”

The expansion of this camp has pushed it to have a lot more moving parts, but DeMasters knows that it is leaving a positive impact on the sport in a community that has had a rich history of athletic success.

“These younger kids, they need to enjoy the ride for a little bit,” DeMasters said. “I think the Thompson community, the Alabaster community, it’s going to benefit us in the soccer world for some time now and I think we’re going to kind of be raising a couple eyebrows as we move forward here with both of our girls and boys programs.”

The cost of the camp is $230, but those who are ages 10-12 and desire more training can register for the Elite Group is $250.

Parents can sign their kids at before June 5, as well as contact for group or half-day discounts.