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Co-Lin soccer coach featured instructor at ACCS camp

Copiah-Lincoln Community College men's and women's soccer coach David Strother gives instructions to a group of young soccer players while leading a camp at Adams County Christian School Friday evening. (Jay Sowers \ The Natchez Democrat)
Copiah-Lincoln Community College men’s and women’s soccer coach David Strother gives instructions to a group of young soccer players while leading a camp at Adams County Christian School Friday evening. (Jay Sowers \ The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — Copiah-Lincoln Community College women’s soccer coach David Strother is no stranger to Natchez, having coached at Adams County Christian School’s soccer camp last summer.

Strother also signed ACCS soccer player Mollie Simpson this past spring, so it’s possible Strother wanted to scout some more players from the school.

Whatever the case, Strother returned this past week to coach at ACCS’s summer soccer camp to instill his knowledge in the school’s young soccer players, and he said he was impressed with the turnout compared to last year.

“(Head coach) Jimmy (Allgood) is still growing the program, and the numbers seem to have doubled (compared to last summer),” Strother said. “The excitement for soccer at ACCS is what brought me back.”

Allgood, who is entering his fourth year at the helm of the school’s boys and girls soccer programs, said this year’s camp had approximately 40 campers compared to last year’s approximately 20.

“With all of the summer activities going on, that’s a fantastic number,” Allgood said. “There’s quite a number of first-year kids, and it’s a mix of younger and older players. I think it’s a result of the progression of us working hard and loving the sport.”

It also doesn’t hurt to have a coach from the next level taking the time to teach the sport, Allgood added.

“His passion for the game, and his pure coaching abilities and being able to relate to the kids is what makes him great,” Allgood said.

Since he’s used to working with college students, Strother said it’s a bit of a different feel trying to coach high schoolers.

“The attention span may not be as long, but the interest is there,” Strother said. “If we can excite that interest and get them to do stuff on their own, that’s what makes them better, and that’s what we’re here for.”

Rising senior Amber Frye said the camp’s focus on developing the fundamental aspects of her game have helped her improve her skills.

“My dribbling and handling of the ball have gotten better,” she said.

In addition to fundamentals, Frye said communication has also been a key focus of their workouts.

“You need to know what’s going on, and it’s important for your teammates to know who’s on them and when to pass the ball,” she said.

Rising senior Justin Allgood said he enjoys taking instruction from Strother.

“Bringing in more experienced players and coaches, we’ll learn a lot from them,” Justin Allgood said. “It’s a good camp. I enjoy it, and I try to get as much from everyone as I can.”

The Lady Rebels’ season will begin in a couple of weeks, and Frye said it will be tough to replace several departing seniors, but that hasn’t tempered her expectations, she said.

“I think we’ll still be good, and maybe even better,” Frye said. “I think we’ll improve even more.”

The ACCS girls begin their season July 29 at Copiah Academy.