New Richmond boys soccer program has strong summer

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The New Richmond boys' high school-age summer soccer team completed its summer season with a tournament championship in the Father's Day Cup in Lakeville, Minn., the weekend of June 16-17. The number of players in the New Richmond program this summer totaled 33, allowing for two teams to participate in a number of events this summer. One team played at U18 and one team at U16 with training being done as one group. The team is sponsored through the local New Richmond Soccer Club.

In the Lakeville tournament the U18 team defeated Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa in the opening match, 5-1. In its second game, they defeated Little Falls, 7-0, and, in its third game, defeated Edina, 3-1, to advance to the finals. In the championship game, New Richmond matched up with Amery's summer team and pulled out a 1-0 victory.

Over the course of the spring/summer season, tournaments were played in Hudson, Maplewood, Rice Lake and Hayward, and including weeknight games, a total of 34 games were played. The team is made up of six seniors, five juniors, seven sophomores, seven freshman, and eight eighth-graders. The focus of the play in the summer is to allow players to play together and develop their skills in advance of the upcoming high school season. The players train three days per week in the spring/summer season. The players train with coaches hired by the local New Richmond Soccer Club.

"The development of a strong summer program will lead to continued success at the high school level. The New Richmond Soccer Club has been a strong supporter of the high school programs for a number of years. The boys get a chance to play together for the summer and strengthen their bond as teammates. They also challenge each other to improve in each training session. The younger players are improving quickly and training against older, more experienced players will only make them better. It's been fun to watch upperclassmen take the younger players under their wing and show them the ropes. It's impressive to see these New Richmond kids work so well together," said New Richmond boys varsity coach Darian Blattner.