Youth soccer camp begins

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— Starting today, it's a soccer week in Steamboat Springs.

In addition to the 2008 Recreation Round Robin Tournament at Emerald Park today, in the next week Steamboat will play host to several camps and the annual Steamboat Mountain Soccer Tournament.

"It's definitely soccer week," said Rob Bohlmann, director of coaching and player development for the Steamboat Springs Youth Soccer Association. "Even before the camp starts, we have these end-of-the-season round robin tournaments."

Today's games, which begin at 7:30 a.m. and continue until about 12:30 p.m., feature U-8 through U-12 teams.

Blair Seymour, recreation director for SSYSA, said she expects about 200 local players to converge on Emerald today.

Then, starting Sunday, soccer camps will be held across Steamboat. Bohlmann said the camps starting Sunday are for players 9 to 14 years old. A high school camp begins Monday.

Bohlmann said the camps include about 50 percent local players, with the rest from surrounding areas. Bohlmann said multiple college and high school coaches come to the camps, as well as former U.S. national team soccer star Marcelo Balboa.

"The great thing about it is, I think our staff pretty much is 100 percent returned from what we had last year," Bohlmann said. "It's a diverse group of coaches, and we have a great camaraderie."

The soccer week consummates July 18 to 20, with the 24th annual Steamboat Mountain Soccer Tournament.

The tournament is one of the biggest in Colorado, bringing in more than 120 teams and 2,000 players for three days of action.

More than 300 games will be played on fields throughout Steamboat.

- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229 or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

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