FC Sarum Soccer Camp returned to the IMS campus for its 23rd year of teaching the “beautiful game.” Starting in 1991 at Salisbury School, Directors Steve Griggs and Joe Cleary opened the camp offering two weeks of soccer where the aim was to give kids the chance to learn basic skills, sportsmanship, and have fun playing in a competitive atmosphere. The idea for the camp was to bring soccer to the northwest corner of Connecticut where soccer was not on the forefront of people’s minds.
Since 1991, soccer has flourished in the country, and Indian Mountain School has been the host for the past 15 summers of FC Sarum. Griggs is still the director and it is now run exclusively by the Griggs family with his wife, Trish, behind the scenes keeping everything on track. Both of their kids continue to coach year in and year out at the camp, and the majority of the coaching staff every year is still full of locals who have come through the FC Sarum camps as players.
The 2013 coaching staff saw a large complement of familiar faces. More than three-quarters of the staff was once again full of former campers. This year’s new faces joined the ranks with a relative seamless transition. During the opening week of the camp–officially known as “mini” camp—five coaches joined together to create a fun atmosphere for the 5-8 year-olds. Maggie Yahn (HVRHS grad and Quinnipiac player), Matt Matteo (Webutuck and SUNY-Oneonta player), Kaylen van Wagner (Hotchkiss), Jessie Griggs (Assistant at Shippensburg University), and Colin Griggs (Head Girls’ Coach at Hebron Academy, ME) began mini-camp as the coaching staff took to the field with the youngsters.
The second and third sessions saw many familiar campers return from previous years. The camp also saw many returning coaches ready for the two weeks of work. This included: Casey Ftorek (All-American and National Champion at Middlebury College), Brianna Ongley (HVRHS, Class of 2012), Robert Carter (IMS and Northwest Regional), Andrew Strumolo (IMS, Taft and Middlebury College), Chris Matteo (Webutuck and Guilford College), Matt Luckett (Georgetown), Hawk Blumert (HVRHS) and Myles Clohessy (HVRHS and Central Connecticut). Xander Jones (Head Coach, Salisbury School) and Jamie Conklin joined the coaching staff for their first year with FC Sarum and Whitney Haase returned to the coaching ranks after a six-year hiatus. The camp also saw Buddy Drew (Marianapolis Prep) return for his third straight year as FC Sarum’s Athletic Trainer.
Steve Griggs (Camp Director and the winningest coach in Yale’s history) stated, “The beauty of FC Sarum is that it is such a family-oriented system. We get coaches who return and are truly part of the FC Sarum family year in and year out. It also helps to be able to spend time with our kids and their friends who join us on the staff.” Colin was the Assistant Athletic Director at IMS for three years, and he is heading back to Maine for his fourth season as the Head Coach for the Varsity Girls’ team at Hebron Academy. Jessie will be in her fourth season as Assistant Coach of the women’s team at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. She has also started FC Sarum PA where she runs clinics and sessions for kids of all ages throughout central Pennsylvania. Griggs said, “We are so lucky to have a family that loves the game, but more importantly we are also very appreciative of the strong coaching staff we are able to put together. This group always includes college coaching experience, school coaches, and local players who are still able to enjoy the game.”
The family looks to continue its efforts again in 2014. The FIFA World Cup will be in Brazil next summer, so the dates are slightly later next year with the action starting on July 7, 2014. The mini camp will once again run from Monday-Thursday from 9:00-12:00 and then the second sessions will be from July 14-18 and 21-25 from 9:00-4:00.