This summer, the university ran several athletics camps, which attracted more than 60 athletes and potential Southern Virginia players each week.
Coach Josh Patiño, who joined Southern Virginia as head men’s soccer coach in February 2014, said that the men’s soccer camps more than doubled their number of players and he hopes that the polished camp model will lead to only greater experiences next year.
“The best thing about it is that we want kids on campus and to see what we’re all about,” he said. He added that it’s great to “really get to know the athlete, really get to know the player.”
And from the sound of it, there was a true melting-pot of different types of players to get to know.
“I guess the main thing I was looking forward to was the quality of player that came out,” he said. “State cup champions, regional players, [olympic development] players… We’re very diverse.”
Of course, the camps also provide young athletes with the opportunity to, as Patiño said, “see what [Southern Virginia is] all about.”
“I hope they, obviously, on the athletics side, really fall in love with the athletic program, with the sport, with the coach, with the current team players — [that] there’s an immediate attraction to our program,” Coach Patiño said, when asked what he hoped the participants got out of the camp experience. “Secondly, I hope they enjoy being on campus and spending time here. I think this is a really special, unique place, and when you’re here on campus, there’s a special feeling that you get. You think, ‘I wanna be here.’”
(Post by Madeleine Gail Rex ’16. Photos by Jordan Wunderlich ’15, Ethan Davis ’19, and Eva Sorensen ’17.)