College coaches to attend Europe soccer camp
Stars and Stripes October 16, 2012
High school boys hoping to earn a college soccer scholarship can enhance their chances exponentially this spring at a soccer evaluation camp organized by Ramstein coach Dominik Ludes.
Ludes, who annually takes a team of DODDS-Europe all-stars to the States for summer tournaments, has commitments from 12 Stateside college coaches to instruct and evaluate players at the College Recruitment Camp, scheduled for the Sportschule Bitburg from April 5-7.
“There are so many talented players in DODDS who don’t have access to college coaches in the States,” Ludes said in a recent phone call about the camp. “Over the summer I had an idea to get some of those coaches over here to see our players.”
Ludes said he started by contacting the military academies, whose staffs are familiar with the DODDS sports scene and some of whom have former DODDS All-Stars on past rosters. All of them committed to attend.
In addition to the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine and Naval Academies, coaches representing the University of Wisconsin, Nevada-Las Vegas, North Carolina-Charlotte, Sacramento State, Indiana University, Purdue University-Indianapolis, Central Arkansas and the University of Dallas have committed to attend, with more schools possible.
Others expressing interest in attending, Ludes said, are Marquette, University of California-Riverside, the University of West Alabama and San Diego Christian College.
The coaches, most acquaintances Ludes met through his participation in Stateside tournaments, have agreed to run six-to-eight classroom and on-field instructional sessions, provide feedback to players and explain the recruitment process.
The fee for the camp, which includes room and board, is 300 Euros, part of which will help Ludes defray expenses.
“It’s a big financial commitment,” Ludes said. “We’re paying for the coaches’ transportation over here.”
Ludes selected the Sportschule Bitburg as the site of his camp, which he hopes to make an annual event and eventually expand to include girls.
“It’s a little bit remote,” he said of the complex situated in the old flight-line area of Bitburg Air Base, “11⁄2 hours from (Ramstein) and two hours from Wiesbaden, but it’s a phenomenal facility. There are six grass fields, an indoor facility, weight rooms and an indoor gym.”
High school players of any age and nationality are invited to attend the camp, which is DODDS-sanctioned but open to all, Ludes said.
“However,” he wrote in a Friday email, “I expect that most of those attending will be from DODDS schools.”
Because the big colleges which will be represented at the camps have already filled their rosters for 2013 graduates, Ludes said, interested seniors have a better chance at catching on with Division II and II schools at the camp.
Interested players may register or get more information by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org. The camp also has a Facebook page, Ludes said, at www.facebook.com/collegesoccerrecruitmentcamp.