Monday and Tuesday seemed like any other day on the campus of Texas A&M – Corpus Christi, despite the historical event that was taking place in the Islanders Athletic Department on those days.
On 8 a.m. Monday morning, the first ever summer camps started for Islanders Women's Soccer began on the intramural fields alongside Island Hall. Although just a two-day camp that was put together rather hastily in the weeks leading up to it, the program brought in 62 attendees for the first look of the campus and coaches that will be represented on the pitch starting next season.
For first year head coach Shanna Caldwell and her assistant/camp coordinator Lauren Molinaro, it was a great first step in promoting the program to the community, both local and throughout the state of Texas.
"I think we recognize the value and importance of getting our name out and getting kids to come down to the University," said Caldwell. "They have opportunity to come and walk around campus and also be exposed to the level and style of coaching we want to put forth as the finished product out on the field in the future here."
The first look at soccer on the campus comes both for local players talent from around Texas as the two coaches worked to get as many players for the inaugural camp in a limited amount of time.
"All the kids really enjoyed it; we've had a lot of local kids, which is great to start building the relationships with the local clubs here, as well as hitting up the main hotbeds of soccer in Texas with kids from Dallas, Houston and Austin," said Caldwell. "Those three main areas and all the ones in between are represented here."
As camp director, Molinaro was in charge of getting the word out in a limited amount of time once the coaching staff decided to host a summer camp this year.
"We are excited for them to come out for the first time, especially since we only had about a month to promote it," said Molinaro. "It's going to be really neat in the future to see when we have maybe six months to put something together, what we can get and how we can promote the Island University."
A big part of that success for the Islanders Women's Soccer program was the relationships the coaches have built in their short time on The Island.
"I think what helped organize the camp was that Shanna and I have done a lot of reaching out to the community and the different club systems in Texas," said Molinaro. "We made some pretty neat contacts and were able to get a lot of girls interested through our contacts.
"I also think the university kind of sells itself; the beach and beautiful weather, it's great. We got a lot of positive feedback about that. We went from about 30 campers to 60 campers very quickly."
Although just one camp is scheduled for this summer, the coaches expect this first camp to help Islanders Soccer grow in the local community and throughout the state of Texas as young players visit the University.
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