September Newsletter 2023

Welcome to the Kings Hammer September Newsletter! This edition features Supplemental Tryouts, Michael Fry Named Sycamore Program Director, ECNL G09 Players Invited to USYNT ID Center, Sam Lang Called Up to US Soccer ENT, Cincy Challenge, GK Union Saves of the Month, Fan Wear, 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.

Are you or someone you know still looking for a team?

Kings Hammer will be holding Supplemental Tryouts this Sunday, October 1st for the U15-U19 Premier Wilder & Premier Union Programs.

  • Premier Wilder Boys & Girls U15(2009)-U19(2005): October 1st | 5:30-7pm | Town & Country (Grass)
  • Premier Union Boys & Girls U15(2009)-U19(2005): October 1st | 4-5:30pm | Central Park

Click here to register now!

Questions? Contact David Shemilt at

Kings Hammer Announces Michael Fry the Sycamore Program Director

Kings Hammer Soccer Club is excited to announce Michael Fry as the Kings Hammer Sycamore Program Director. Michael currently coaches within the Academy Cincinnati South Program and has been coaching in the club since 2021. In his first year, he reached the State Tournament Championship with the Academy 2010 team and the State Semi-Final in 2022 with his Academy 2011’s.

Michael also serves as the Indian Hill High School JV Head Coach and the Varsity assistant and has been in the position since 2018. He was named the 2021 Southwest District Assistant Coach of the Year after helping lead the team to the district championship. In addition to coaching, Michael is a Personal Trainer at FX Athletic Performance where he trains individuals and groups ages 6 through college.

“I’m humbled to have the opportunity to lead and grow the Kings Hammer Sycamore Program. Having lived, worked, and coached in the Sycamore area for the last six years, I am invested in this community, and I look forward to working alongside our amazing Sycamore coaching staff to provide the Kings Hammer experience to our players and families. Since my childhood playing days, through my time in the college ranks, and now as a coach and director, soccer has been a lifelong passion; to join the leadership of a club that shares that passion is truly an honor, and I cannot wait to get to work as we continue to make Kings Hammer Sycamore the best youth soccer environment in the area,” Michael Fry, Kings Hammer Sycamore Program Director.

“I am delighted to introduce Michael Fry as the new Kings Hammer Sycamore Program Director. Michael’s impressive background, including his collegiate-level experience as a soccer player with the University of South Carolina, as well as his coaching roles within our own Kings Hammer Academy Program and as a high school coach at Indian Hill, has equipped him with a wealth of knowledge and expertise that he will undoubtable pass on to the Kings Hammer Sycamore Program’s coaches and players,” Paul Nicholson, Kings Hammer Midwest Executive Director.

Two Kings Hammer ECNL G09 Players Invited to USYNT Regional ID Center

Congratulations to KH ECNL G09 players Louise Guidugli and Nina Brandon for being invited to and attending the USYNT Regional ID Center on Thursday, September 21st in Nashville, TN. We’re proud of both of you for all your hard work!

Sam Lang, KH RL B07, Called Up to US Soccer ENT

Congratulations to Kings Hammer GK, Sam Lang, on receiving a call-up to the U.S. Soccer ENT. We’re proud of you, Sam!

KH Midwest Executive Director Participates in FC Cincinnati Sword Pull Ritual

Kings Hammer Midwest Executive Director, Paul Nicholson, was honored during FC Cincinnati’s pre-game ceremony on Saturday, participating in the sword pull ritual. Paul was a founding player for FCC, playing for the club during the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Way to go, Paul!

Cincy Challenge

The 2023 Cincy Challenge took place the weekend of September 22nd-24th at the Voice of America Park & Warren County Sports Park. Over the weekend we hosted 233 teams from over 40 clubs across the region and nearly 400 games over the two day event! We were treated to some great weather, great games, and very competitive championship matches. Thank you to all the participating clubs, teams, families, referees, volunteers, facility staff, and our event staff who made this event such a huge success.

If you weren’t able to purchase event merchandise on site during the event, it’s not too late to purchase. You can visit our online store and have your event merchandise shipped to you. Click here to order online now!

We would also like to send a special thank you to our event partners:

Trophy Awards- Official Awards Supplier of Kings Hammer Events
PYB Sports- Official Event Housing Partner
Nike Soccer- Official Brand Partner

Click here for a full recap of scores!


Our next event will be our Blue Chip Juniors which kicks off October 6th at both Voice of America Park and Warren Co Sports Park.  Event Merchandise is available for online purchase now! Skip the line: Click here to order online now.

Gateway Showcase ID Camp

The Gateway Showcase ID Camp is an opportunity for players U15(2009) through U19(2005) participating in the Gateway Showcase to train and play with College coaches prior to the tournament. A limited number of players will be selected for the ID Camp and it will be held the Thursday before the tournament. These players will be divided into teams and each given coaches to coach their team in a training session and 60 minute game.

Click here for more information and to register now!

September Education: Helping our Players Regain or Build Their Confidence

Confidence is defined as a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities. In the sports context, an athlete believing in their abilities is key in competition. Confidence enables them to take risks, overcome challenges, and bounce back from setbacks. No matter the amount of time spent practicing or training, if an athlete lacks confidence, their ability to perform when it matters will be limited. When youth athletes are confident, they perform at their best and enjoy their sport more.

When an athlete lacks confidence it impacts the ability of the athlete to show growth, find enjoyment, and have success in practices and games. Signs of low confidence can include poor body language, hesitancy in their movements, decreased enthusiasm or motivation, and frequent errors or mistakes. Low confidence can come from a variety of causes, fear of failure, anxiety, burnout, or even body changes from puberty.

It can be tough for parents and coaches to watch an athlete, your athlete, your child, struggle with confidence. Unfortunately for parents and coaches, we cannot force confidence onto, or into our child or player.  But in researching the topic I have come across some tips that we can take to encourage them to find their confidence within themselves.


When young athletes encounter fear and self-doubt, parents and coaches can be great resources. Talking openly and letting them know it’s okay to talk about their feelings is one of the first things you can do to help a struggling athlete.  The more comfortable kids are confiding in parents and coaches, the sooner they will talk about their fears and doubts.


For many athletes’ low self-confidence comes from athletes giving too much energy to other competitors or teammates by making comparisons, creating a feeling like they do not belong at the current level of play. Constant comparisons of strengths and characteristics by a player can lead to doubt about ability, performance, and contributions.

Help your athletes avoid putting other athletes on a pedestal, as if they are better than your athletes or superior. Encourage them to stop making comparisons to athletes who they think are better than them or contributing more. Try to have them focus on their own strengths and characteristics instead of thinking about how they stack up compared to other teammates or competitors.

Click here to view the full article.

GK Union Save of the Month

Congratulations to Riley J from KHE1 G12 & Logan W from KHE1 B13 for being named the August GK Union Saves of the Month!

Did you make an incredible save or a game-saving block? We want to see them!

Post your best saves in the Kings Hammer GK Union Facebook group or share on Twitter using the hashtag #KingsHammer. Be sure to share throughout the spring season and YOU could be selected for our Kings Hammer Save of the Month! GK Save of the Month winners will be announced the Friday of the first full week of the following month.

Monthly winners will be posted on the Kings Hammer social pages and on the GK Union page.

Uniform & Equipment Donation Program

Thank you to everyone that donated soccer uniforms and equipment this past month. We will be sending all collected used soccer uniforms and equipment to children in need at the Canary Islands!

KH Alum Signs with Louisville City FC

Congratulations to former Kings Hammer player, Chandler Gaunce, on signing his first professional contract! We’re so excited to follow your accomplishments!

Kings Hammer Soccer Club Core Values

Beginning in October we will be highlighting one club core value each month. Stay tuned for the first video coming October 2nd on our social channels.

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 2023/2024 Season!

Click here to take the survey now


Past Newsletters

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 |