February Newsletter 2023

Welcome to the Kings Hammer February Newsletter! This edition features Tryouts Save the Dates, Spring Little Lions, COE Spring Training Program, Kentucky Youth Soccer Learning University, Spring Events, Kings Hammer FC Schedules Released, and more! If you have a player, coach, or team to be highlighted in future newsletters, please send photos and stories to Each newsletter will be posted on our website as well as our social pages.

2023/2024 Tryouts Save the Dates

Tryouts for the 2023/2024 Season can begin May 15th and will end by June 2nd. Official dates will be announced closer to the start of tryouts. Families looking to book summer vacations can begin booking on Saturday, June 3rd to avoid conflicts.

If the official tryout schedule is released and you run into conflicts please communicate with your Program Director so they are aware.

Spring Little Lions

Registration is open for the 2023 Spring Little Lions! The program will be offered for boys and girls U4(2019)-U8(2015) at seven locations. Our Little Lions Program is a player-centered program that focuses on technical fundamentals, age-appropriate fitness, and fun! Each week players will participate in 1 training session, led by Kings Hammer staff, that focuses on technical skill development and small-sided games.

Click the links below for more information and to register:

Questions? Contact the Kings Hammer Grassroots Director Michelle Okumura at

COE Spring Training Program

Registration is now open for the Center of Excellence (COE) Spring Training Program for U8-U12 players that are not currently on a Kings Hammer roster for the Spring 2023 Season. Players that are currently rostered on a Kings Hammer team for the Spring season do not need to register. The COE Spring Training Program is included in your team fees. Spring COE dates will be added to your PlayMetrics calendar.

The COE Spring Training Program is a 6-week program that will take place at 2 convenient locations: Voice of America in West Chester Township, OH and at Town & Country in Wilder, KY.

The program will focus on individual player development (technically and tactically) in the four phases of the game: attacking, transition to attack, defending and transition to defending. The program will be available to all U8- U12 players. Please see below for more details on the COE Spring training program.

South COE (Town & Country Turf: 1018 Town Dr. Wilder, KY 41076)

  • Dates: 3/10, 3/17, 3/24, 3/31, 4/7, 4/14
  • Location: T&C Outdoor Turf Field #2
  • Times:
    • U8/U9: 5:30-6:30pm
    • U10: 6:30-7:30pm
    • U11/U12: 7:30-8:30pm

North COE (Voice of America: 7850 VOA Park Dr. West Chester, OH 45069)

  • Dates: 3/10, 3/17, 3/24, 3/31, 4/7, 4/14
  • Location: Voice of America Park Turf Fields
  • Times:
    • U8/U9/U10: 5:30-6:30pm
    • U11/U12: 6:30-7:30pm

Kentucky Youth Soccer Learning University

Always growing to deliver the best experience possible.  Over 25 of our Kings Hammer coaches participated in the Kentucky Youth Soccer Learning University, on February 4th in Lexington KY, where they worked alongside the best in their field sharing knowledge and experiences. Great job, all!

Spring Events Kickoff March 10th

We are excited to kick off our 2023 Spring Events Series & look forward to seeing all of our families out at the fields!

Boys Turf Classic– March 10th-12th, 2023 (Cincinnati, OH)
Nike Elite Spring Thaw– March 17th-19th, 2023 (Cincinnati, OH)
Girls Turf Classic– March 24th-26th, 2023 (Cincinnati, OH)
Triple Crown Cup– April 14th-16th, 2023 (Lexington, KY)
Women’s Nike Blue Chip Showcase– April 21st-23rd, 2023 (Cincinnati, OH)
Men’s Nike Blue Chip Showcase– April 28th-30th, 2023 (Cincinnati, OH)
Crown Challenge– May 12th-14th, 2023 (Cincinnati, OH)

February Education: Celebrating Gratitude

Earlier this month Kings Hammer SC participated in Gratitude Week in conjunction with our partners, Soccer Parenting.  Throughout the week of Feb 13th-17th, Soccer Parenting provided opportunities and suggestions for showing gratitude to the people around us who help to make our sport thrive-Parents, Coaches, Referees, Players, Team Admin, and Club Leaders.  In addition, Soccer Parenting posted an article on How Can Gratitude Improve Performance.  The following benefits were listed as a part of this article:

5 Benefits of Demonstrating Gratitude

  • GRATITUDE helps you sleep better
  • GRATITUDE helps your self-esteem
  • GRATITUDE helps open your mind
  • GRATITUDE improves your relationships
  • GRATITUDE enhances your mental and physical health

Dan Abrahams Webinar – Supporting Athletes in Developing Motivation, Resilience, and Optimism

Dan Abrahams is a globally recognized Sports Psychologist who has worked with athletes and teams at every level and sport, as well as in the corporate realm. He has also authored a number of highly regarded books addressing areas such as resilience, motivation, adversity, and performance.  I had the good fortune to see Dan Abrahams speak to coaches at the recent United Soccer Coaches conference in Philadelphia and was excited to be able to catch him on this webinar.  I would encourage all parents and coaches to check it out on the Soccer Parenting Resource site.

Click here to read the full story.

USL2 & USLW 2023 Schedules Released

Kings Hammer FC USL League Two and the USL Women’s League will be kicking off in May, with the first home games being played on May 14th (USLW) & May 19th (USL2). Head Coaches Paul Nicholson and Vince Gentile have been working hard to form their rosters. Player signing announcements will be posted on all our social channels beginning in March. Ticket information will be released shortly. For more information click here!

Interested in Coaching?

Kentucky Youth Soccer Association will be holding Grassroots Coaching Courses March 3rd-4th at St. Henry High School, located in Erlanger, KY. For more information and to register click here!

Kings Hammer Fan Wear

Warm weather is right around the corner—time to stock up on Kings Hammer fan wear! Come see all our great options online and remember: orders ship fast, and directly to your door. Be sure to check back as we add new styles and colors for our spring tournaments! Shop now: Kings Hammer Gear

Content Feedback Survey

We want to hear from you! Please take a minute to complete a quick Content Feedback Survey with 9 questions. Your answers will help as we start creating content for the 2023 Season!

Click here to take the survey now



Tryout FAQ’s

How do I register for tryouts?
ALL soccer-athletes MUST COMPLETE the tryout registration online before participating in the tryout process. Click here to register now!

*Please make sure that you register online at least 24 hours in advance to ensure that the soccer athlete is in the system and we have your information to notify you after the tryout process.  There is a Registration Steps document on the Tryouts page that will walk you through the process. Each soccer athlete should attend both tryout days if possible. If you are unable to attend both days please reach out to the Program Director listed below.

Birth Years for the 2022/2023 Season
For the 2022/2023 season, Kings Hammer will follow U.S Youth Soccer’s guidelines and will organize its teams by birth year:

*Interested players must register to try out for their birth year.

Can my child play up an age group?
Any player playing up will be at the discretion of their respective director. All players need to register and attend the tryout for their correct age group.

What should I wear/bring to tryouts?
Please come prepared with a fully inflated soccer ball, proper footwear, shin guards, and water. Each prospective soccer-athlete will receive one free Kings Hammer Soccer Club tryout t-shirt with a tryout identification number on the back of the t-shirt.  Each prospective player will be identified by the identification number throughout the process and MUST wear this t-shirt at each tryout session for the 2022/2023 soccer year.

We will not be able to attend tryouts or are new to the area and missed tryouts. Is there a process in place to allow for an alternate tryout?
Yes! If you are not able to attend tryouts or missed the tryout dates, please register and then contact the Director for the Program/Age Group you wish to tryout for so that arrangements can be made. We also hold supplemental tryouts throughout the year. Roster openings may be limited after the initial tryout period.

What are the differences between Academy and Premier?
Our Academy provides a highly competitive environment for higher-level soccer athletes. This program provides those athletes with the best local training offered by our qualified and professional staff. Our Academy teams play at the highest possible level providing showcase opportunities to College, Professional, and National level programs.

The Premier Program is a community-based program. The Premier Program provides the opportunity for players to play other sports or have other interests outside of soccer. This program is designed to be flexible, convenient, and affordable.

Can I try out for multiple programs?
We encourage anyone who wants to tryout for all levels to do so. Current KHSC players can ask their coach/director for guidance if they are unsure about which program to tryout for. You will need to register for each tryout separately.

If I tryout for a program and don’t make it, can I try out for another program?
Yes. If you don’t make an Academy team, we strongly encourage you to tryout for a Premier team, attending tryouts for at least one day.

If you don’t make a Premier team, the Classic Program may be an option. Contact Michelle Okumura ( if you’d like to pursue this option.

Will there be more than one team in each age group?
Yes, when possible, there will be more than one team per age group, per program. It all depends on the number of players at tryouts and their skill level.

If my child doesn’t make the top team, can they move up during the year?
Yes, there may be opportunities to move up throughout the year as long as the coach/director feels it is in the best interest of the player’s development. There may also be opportunities to guest play across all levels.

What can I expect after tryouts?
After tryouts you can expect communication from the club in the form of an email.  (Please double-check that your email is correct in the PlayMetrics system, this is the email we use) This will either be an acceptance email, offering your child a position on a team, or an email letting you know that they should tryout for a different program. Players who are offered positions on a team may also receive a phone call from their coach. All communication will come within 24-48 hours of the end of the last tryout. You will then have 24 hours to either accept or decline your email before your spot is offered to another child.

What are the next steps if my child makes a team?

  1. If you are new to the club, you will receive more information regarding your uniform ordering in your confirmation email.
  2. If you are part of the Academy or Premier Programs, you will receive the link to Demosphere to register your child in the state system in your confirmation email as well.

How long is the season?

  • Academy
    • U11-U14: August-November, January-May (possible post-season in June)
    • U15-U19: November-May
  • Premier
    • U7-U14: August-October, March-May
    • U15-U19: November-December, March-May

My child is in middle school but plays on a U15 team. Will there be a fall U15 program for trapped players?
Yes, we will offer a program for trapped 8th graders for the fall season depending on interest. The program will run from August to October and is open to players that are currently in the 8th grade that will be playing on a U15 team starting in November 2022. Questions please contact:

Academy North: Ryan Handbury |
Academy South Boys: James Thomas |
Academy South Girls: Chris Black |
Academy Bluegrass Boys: Dan Ensley  |
Academy Bluegrass Girls: Megan Adkins |

Can a team come to the club and join as a team?
Yes! The team can join the Classic Program. For more information please reach out to Michelle Okumura at

Who is in charge of hiring coaches?
If you are interested in a coaching opportunity, please fill out the following coaching form –

Program Directors:

Academy North: Ryan Handbury |
Academy South Girls: Chris Black |
Academy South Boys: James Thomas |
Academy Bluegrass Boys: Dan Ensley |
Academy Bluegrass Girls: Megan Adkins |
Premier Xenia: Brent Lewis |
Premier North: Wil Cagle |
Premier Sycamore: Ryan Handbury |
Premier Central: Michael Ratliff |
Premier South: David Shemilt |
Premier Versailles: Brandon Cummons |
Premier Lexington: Fonyam Atanga |