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April College Recruiting Newsletter 2022

Welcome to the Kings Hammer April College Recruiting Newsletter! The club is excited to work with you to accomplish all of your player’s goals for this upcoming calendar year, on and off of the soccer field. We hope you find value in this newsletter and are excited to assist in this exciting process for your family!

College ID Camps

Spring Soccer is in full swing, and by now most of our Kings Hammer high school age group players are probably being bombarded via email, social media, or their teams with College Camp opportunities. For those unfamiliar with them, ID Camps can be a great opportunity for players to get a close-up look at what it’s like to be a player in a college program, interact with the coaches and players, and potentially check out a campus. These events can be very valuable to current high school players who want to continue their academic and soccer career in college as they are designed for individuals who are looking to compete against higher level competition as well as gain exposure with college coaches. Below we will attempt to provide some insight on these opportunities and what each player needs to be aware of prior to selecting and attending one (or more.)

Types of ID Camps

There are three primary types of College ID Camps and Clinics:

  • Independent College ID Camp hosted by a third party.
  • College Camp hosted by a College Program.
  • College ID Camp / Clinic hosted, managed, and run by a college program only

Independent College ID Camp – An organization that has no affiliation with any college program will bring in college coaches to work their camps. These events are typically NOT on a college campus, but may be near one or more colleges. Many college coaches who do the camp circuit over the summer use it as an opportunity to earn extra income. It is also gives the coaches a chance to do some recruiting while working the camp. While college coaches are there they will train, identify, and evaluate the campers that are in attendance. Here are some popular college soccer recruiting camps.

College ID Camps hosted by a college – There are many college head coaches that will run their own camps in the summer as a way to increase income for their staff and program. The host college will typically bring in a number of other college coaches from the area to work their camps. The level of play at these camps can vary greatly and the age groups are sometimes wider. These camps often are multiple day events (3-5 days)

College ID Camp/Clinic managed and staffed by that college program only – These tend to be smaller and shorter events that are scheduled throughout the year. These camps typically last 1-3 days where prospective student-athletes will get the opportunity to experience what it would be like to attend that school and play for that program. Be aware that these types of camps are also money makers for the college programs. Nearly all college programs, DI, DII, and DIII has their own College ID camp/clinic throughout the year. Visit each program’s website to find out more info about possible camps or clinics. The one-day clinics are a great opportunity to get a feel of what it would be like to play for that program. They are typically affordable $75 – $150 for the day (plus any associated travel expenses.)  If you want to get identified by a program, you may have better odds attending 4 – 5 one day clinics rather than going to one of the big camps and pay about the same amount.

Why Attend an ID Camp

There are four primary reasons to attend a College ID Camp/Clinic or Showcase:

  1. Gain college exposure.
  2. Improve your skills to become a better player.
  3. Compete against higher level of competition to evaluate your abilities against other players.
  4. Experience a specific college program environment.

Picking the Right Camp for You

No matter which type of camp you may be attending an ID camp can be a major investment of both time and money, making it crucial that players pick camps that are the best fit for them. What does this mean? Below are some questions you should be asking as you work to determine which camp is the best choice for you.

  • How long does the ID camp last? There is a wide variety of formats for how universities and colleges run their ID camps, one of the major factors being length. While some programs only run 1 day camps, others run residential camps where potential student athlete’s come for multiple days and sleep in dorms, apartments, or other campus living with other campers. The longer you are able to spend on a program’s campus and around the staff, the better of an idea you’ll get as to how they operate.
  • How much money does the camp cost? Summer ID camps generally contribute to a lot of a program’s fundraising budget, and because of this, sometimes the prices can get a bit high. When selecting ID camps to attend, weigh the cost of the camp (along with travel, food, lodging if necessary) with your interest in the school. Attending 10 different 1 day camps at 10 different programs can be pricy! Only attend camps of schools that you are legitimately interested in learning more about in order to save money during the process.
  • Is this program legitimately interested in me as a player? ID camps are a great opportunity for you to get noticed by a college coach, as it allows you to play in front of them for day(s) at a time and really make your mark. However, there are some things you can do to really determine if the program whose camp you’re interested in attending is interested in you as a player prior to attending. Has the coaching staff already seen you play? Have you built a prior relationship with the coaches? Did you receive a personal invite to camp, or did you receive a mass email along with every other player on your club team? The more of these questions you can answer, the more you will be able to make an educated decision on whether or not attending the camp is the best use of your time.
  • How many college coaches will be at the ID Camp? While some ID camps only have coaches from the respective program working/coaching, others have coaches from multiple programs. When researching ID camps that you are interested in, try to get an idea of how many college coaches will be in attendance as well as how many programs will be represented. There are camps that have representation from dozens of coaches and programs, which may be of more interest than a program that just has representation from one school, depending on where you are in your specific recruiting process.

Ultimately, the ID Camp experience is one that should fill players with optimism and excitement. The opportunity to visit different campuses, play in front of college coaches and potentially with college players, as well as experience a sneak peek of life as a college athlete is an exciting one. However, choosing the right camp is important so choosing efficiently and effectively is important

How to Make the Most Out of Your Camp Experience

Now that you have discovered your reasons to attend an ID camp, identified types of camps, and selected the camps you are going to attend, here are some tips to really make the most out of your College Camp Experience.

  • Make Contact with the Coaches – Review the list of college coaches who will be attending the camp. If there are schools that you may be interested in, write to the coaching staff expressing interest in their program. Let them know that you will be attending the camp and that you look forward to meeting them and having them watch you play. Be personal! Be Specific! Be Honest! You should start building a relationship with the college coach before arriving for camp. Include you Kings Hammer coach in email communications with each college so that the coach can reach out to them as needed.
  • Get face time with a college coach – While you are at camp to find the opportunity to personally meet the coaches whose programs you are interested in. Try to take a couple minutes to introduce yourself and tell them a little bit about yourself. The best times to do that is during check-in if coaches are available, walking to and from the training fields, and in the cafeteria. Be aware college coaches are not permitted to have any recruiting conversations with you during the camp.
  • Be Vocal and Positive on the Field – College coaches look for players who possess leadership qualities. Any player who has a voice on the field will immediately stand out as long as it is in a positive or constructive way. If you have the opportunity to be vocal, speak up as a positive influence and leader for your team. All of these qualities demonstrate your relentless and positive attitude, and those are two key characteristics all coaches find impressive.
  • Train HardPlay Hard and Run Hard – If you are trying to make a good first impression on a college coach your attitude and your work ethic are your most controllable assets, and one of the best ways to set yourself apart from the crowd. If you lose the ball, work hard to get it back within the context of the game. If you have the ball know when to keep it and when to give it up. If you get knocked down, get back up. If you are on the field, stay focused on the ball and always keep your feet moving.
  • Respect – Be sure that you respect all members of the camp including the coaches, counselors, teammates, and campus staff. College coaches are not just evaluating you on the field but they are watching how you carry yourself off the field as well.
  • Request Feedback – College coaches seek players who are students of the game. A player who shows a coach they are willing to learn and improve will separate themselves from players who don’t go that extra mile. Use this opportunity to engage with coaches about your game. Speak to them after a training session or game about what you might be able to work on to improve. Coaches love when a player takes ownership over their own athletic development.
  • FUN – Playing soccer should be fun! That is why we play! If you are not enjoying yourself it will show in how you approach the game. Coaches want players on their team who have passion for the game. These are the players who believe working hard and improving is fun.
  • Follow-Up – You should always follow up with any college coaches you interacted with while at camp. You should thank them for working with you or taking the time to speak with you. If you can try to reference something specific, conversation or drill to help trigger their memory.

If you follow through with these 8 simple steps no doubt you will stand out as qualified prospective student-athlete to some college coaches. Obviously, your abilities will be an important aspect of this process but on a level playing field these things will give you the edge over your competitors.

College Commitments

  • Natalie Bain – Xavier University
  • Eleanor Simkonis – Cleveland State University
  • Mya Gerak – University of Kentucky
  • Summer Denigan – Florida State University
  • Marina Ruthsatz – Wright State University
  • Claire Wiseman – Ohio Northern University
  • Faith Broering – University of Cincinnati
  • Jade Rehberger – Illinois State University
  • Danielle Hicks – Ashland University
  • Maddy Murphy – Eastern Kentucky University
  • Annie Isphording – Johns Hopkins University
  • Kali Funk – Ashland University
  • Ella Madden – Ohio Northern University
  • Molly McNeill – Cedarville University
  • Sarah Zimmerman – Washington and Lee University
  • Morgan Gerak – Michigan State University
  • Katie Adams – Ohio Wesleyan University
  • Meg Gessner – Northern Kentucky University
  • Emily Duffey – Hanover College
  • Sydney Noble – University of Findlay
  • Kaitlyn Siefert – University of Findlay
  • Chloe Spitzer – Berea College
  • Shyanne Iles – University of Southern Illinois
  • CJ DeBra – Youngstown State University
  • Sarah Henson – Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis
  • Courtney Lindgren – California University of Pennsylvania
  • Jackson Byrd – Mount St. Joseph University
  • Leo Bill – Transylvania University
  • Adam Gritton – Spalding University
  • Amber Branum – Wright State University
  • Tyron Reynolds – Spalding University
  • Abby Cole – Mount Saint Joseph University
  • Ella Madden – Fairmont State University
  • Shannon Crogan – Northern Kentucky University
  • Jon Gordon – Asbury University
  • Will Freson – Marietta College
  • Macie Chappell – Campbellsville University
  • Riley Arnold – Ohio Dominican
  • Elizabeth Dreas – Austin Peay State University
  • Emily Lloyd – Florida Southern College
  • Ellie Greenwell – Ohio University
  • Shannon Crogan – Northern Kentucky University
  • Zara Graff – Wright State University
  • Abby Unkraut – University of Georgia

2023 Verbal College Commitments:

  • Amanda Schlueter – Ohio State University
  • Sophie Decker – Marian University
  • Ruby Dunlevy – Eastern Kentucky University

Remember to post your commitment to your Sports Recruits account and send commitment photos to info@kingshammer.com so that you can be recognized for your achievements.

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 (michelle@kingshammer.com) 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: Lindsay Basalyga | lindsay@kingshammer.com
Academy South Boys: James Thomas | james@kingshammer.com
Academy South Girls: Chris Black | chris@kingshammer.com
Academy Bluegrass Boys: Dan Ensley  | dan@kingshammer.com
Academy Bluegrass Girls: Megan Adkins | megan@kingshammer.com

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 michelle@kingshammer.com.

Who is in charge of hiring coaches?
If you are interested in a coaching opportunity, please fill out the following coaching form – https://kingshammer.com/interested-in-coaching/

Program Directors:

Academy North: Lindsay Basalyga | lindsay@kingshammer.com
Academy South Girls: Chris Black | chris@kingshammer.com
Academy South Boys: James Thomas | james@kingshammer.com
Academy Bluegrass Boys: Dan Ensley | dan@kingshammer.com
Academy Bluegrass Girls: Megan Adkins | megan@kingshammer.com
Premier Xenia: Brent Lewis | brent@kingshammer.com
Premier North: Wil Cagle | wil@kingshammer.com
Premier Sycamore: Ryan Handbury | ryan@kingshammer.com
Premier Central: Michael Ratliff | michaelr@kingshammer.com
Premier South: David Shemilt | dshemilt@kingshammer.com
Premier Versailles: Brandon Cummons | brandon@kingshammer.com
Premier Lexington: Fonyam Atanga | fonyam@kignshammer.com