Soccer club builds skills on and off the field Tryouts this Friday and next Monday
Kittatinny Soccer Club's Kittatinny United U12 Girls Team holding up the trophy won last season at the Morris County Youth Soccer Association League Cup.
By Laurie Gordon NEWTON — Club soccer is well known for instilling positive discipline in our youth. Kids involved in soccer clubs tend to take the sport more seriously and don't want to let down their teammates, coaches or parents. It breeds a sense of living up to the expectations they have for themselves. Keeping Kittatinny Soccer Club going strong is the passion of Oscar Fernandez, the club's president. “The Kittatinny Soccer Club was in existence since 1996,” he said. “I joined the club with a Hampton Soccer Club Rec team in 2004. My wife and I have been running the club since 2012.” In the beginning, Oscar and Nancy Fernandez had kids playing in the program. “Our youngest son who just graduated from college helps with our soccer camp,” Fernandez said. “Our children are adults now but we wanted to keep the club going so that the local youth would have a more competitive league to play in.” Fernandez was born in Columbia, South America where soccer is an everyday sport. “It's played in any open space available there,” he said. “I would like to see the youth grow to love the sport as they do in other countries where soccer is the number one sport.” Teams for the Kittatinny Soccer Club are formed starting at age eight and running through high school age. Tryouts for the fall teams will be this Friday, May 18th and Monday, May 21st at The Hampton Township Recreational Park. U9-U10 (birth year 2009-2011) will be held from 5 pm to 6 pm each of the days, U11-U12 (birth year 2007-2008) will be held from 6 pm to 7 pm each of the days, and U-13-U15 (birth year 2004 to 2006) will be held from 7 pm to 8 pm each of the days. Teams are formed starting at age 8 through high school age. “The goal for Kittatinny Soccer Club is to work as a feeder program to prepare our children for the increased competition seen at the High School Level,” Fernandez said. “The club strives to improve our children’s soccer skills by providing consistent practices, proper professional training, and higher level of play during games.” All of the Club's coaches are parents of the players. “We have a husband and wife who coach individual teams,” Fernandez said. “We also have a coach that runs a recreation league and a coach who is a professional trainer. Our coaches are willing to commit to soccer year-round and believe in the clubs philosophy to provide teaching and development of youth soccer within Kittatinny Regional High School’s sending districts.” In a day and age where kids seem to be on their phones or some other sort of technology, sports are more important than ever. “Soccer is a sport which requires the kids to be alert and ready for action,” Fernandez said. “It is a physical sport which keeps the players in physical shape. It takes them out of the house and away from their phones and video games. Instead, they are interacting with a team which demands thinking and strategizing. The more they play and practice allows their skills to increase which boasts their self-confidence.” Most of Kittatinny Soccer Club's teams also participate in local and out of state tournaments. The Club also sponsors a camp that is open to club and non-club players. This year's camp wil be held from July 23rd though July 27th from 5 pm to 8 pm at the Hampton Township Recreational Park. Fernandez said, “Not only do they experience high level competition, but playing in these tournaments enables the families of the team to bond and the players really enjoy themselves.” For information about the Club or Camp, please call 973-670-9255 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org