Archived Story

City youth soccer gets ‘Fired Up’ for week-long camp

Published 8:13pm Thursday, May 31, 2012

Alex City Youth Soccer hosted their first ‘Get Fired Up’ Soccer Camp week at the site of what will be the future Alex City Soccer Complex this past week, with the event concluding today.

Alexander City native Chris Isbell is director of the camp and grew up playing in Alex City’s rec league.

He has played soccer all over the world and brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to the table.

He joined the Marine Corp where he played for the Navy Marine Corps Soccer team and went on to play one season in the MLS with the Columbus Crew.

Isbell is taking Alex City soccer to the next level, and I was so excited to talk to him about Alex City’s thriving soccer culture.

The ACMS team went 18-1 this past season.

Our rec teams U10 won regionals and state this year and U7 won their regionals as well. Alex City club teams consistently make it to the finals and often win.

“I wanted to come home and give back to community and give kids the opportunity to experience soccer like I have. If they have ambitions to carry it higher, I’m here to give them any kind of help I can,” Isbell said.

“Soccer is still a new sport to the US and there are not a lot of folks who know a lot about it. Anyone can play. It’s really a great sport with a team orientated atmosphere and it is a great thing to teach these kids. It takes a lot of discipline to work as a team.” Isbell said.

Wednesday the camp had a huge turnout of about 75 kids and focused on an “offensive minded” skill set including dribbling, passing, and shooting exercises.

Thursday was dedicated to several different types of defensive tactics, including multiple player defense, 1 vs. 1, and set play defense.

Scrimmages will be held today and the kids will have the chance to put all they learned over the past two days to use.

“We’re targeting our recreational players and giving them the opportunity to get instruction from club players and coaches,” Isbell said.

“We want to bridge that gap between the two different levels and try to bring Alex City’s youth soccer ability up to where we want it to be.”

I chatted with Dawn Hirn who is head of fundraising for The Alex City Soccer Complex.

The project will break ground in August and is a $45,000 base job. The lights alone will cost $200,000.

Overall, to get the complex to full form it will take around $750,000.

Look for many upcoming events regarding fundraising for the complex this year.

“There is so much potential for what a facility of this caliber could do revenue wise for Alex City,” Hirn said.

“We are central to so many cities. For example, Opelika recently raised around $30,000 during a two day tournament.”

The weather was overcast and cool compared to the past several days. The kids were running everywhere and having a blast.

I stopped cute little Libby Thames to ask her what her favorite part of camp has been.

“Kicking the soccer ball in the goal,” Thames said.

There will be a second camp with a similar format in July. While this camp focused on the D4 rec player, the July camp will be geared towards D2/D3 rec players with more advanced training. Dates for the July camp are TBA.

Spotted:  Salvadore Naranjo, Grant Hudson, Gared Martin, Todd Hall, Scott Marlo, Dawn Hirn, Ron Hirn, Julie Daniel, Tammy Ozment, Johnny Nolen, Josh Tucker, Margie Reynolds, Jackson Graham, Dalton Daniel, Anderson Floyd, Noah Boone, Daly Wagnor, Dylan Tapley, Matt Smith, and Sean Rape.

Howell works as an advertising representative for Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc., in addition to writing this column. Contact Howell at to keep her In the Loop of events.