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Edge launches expanded soccer program

Edge School in Springbank has added another sport to its reputed program.
The Edge School Mountaineers co-ed soccer squad has a full outdoor field on the Edge School campus at its disposal during the spring and fall.
The Edge School Mountaineers co-ed soccer squad has a full outdoor field on the Edge School campus at its disposal during the spring and fall.

Edge School in Springbank has added another sport to its reputed program.

With the addition of a co-ed soccer team this fall, which will play about 20 indoor and outdoor exhibition games against local clubs during the ‘10-‘11 season, Edge is laying the groundwork for what it hopes will become a traditional feeder-type system.

Program director and head coach Eddie Escobar says the next steps are clear – distinct girls’ and boys’ premier-level squads.

“For me, it’s important to instil a sense of pride in our soccer program,” he said.

“I think the best way to do that is to create a club mentality, where our players are proud of being at our school, attending our academy, and competing against the best teams in the city. My goal has always been to turn the Edge soccer program into one of the top academies in the city, if not Alberta, and become a soccer-specific powerhouse.”

“Our plan is to get our co-ed team into the Calgary Minor Soccer Association, and I strongly believe that when people see that we are successful, we’ll be able to launch (boys’ and girls’) competitive teams and those, in turn, will eventually become feeders to our premier teams.”

The Mountaineers soccer team of 14 players has a full outdoor field on the Edge School campus during the spring and fall. The Mountaineers also train indoors at the Calgary West Soccer Centre, work out at the Edge School’s Skill Academy three days a week, and play futsal, an indoor version of soccer, in the Edge gym on Fridays.

The team began its season 3W-0L after a 6-2 win over the Calgary Chinook Lions 96 (U-16 boys), a 7-1 win over Chinook United 97 (U-14 boys), and a 7-6 win over Calgary West (U-16 boys Tier I) last month.

The Mountaineers spent a week in Las Vegas in November as well, where they had a training camp under the direction of coaches from Mexico City-based professional side Cruz Azul and former Blackburn Rover Danny Stone.

“Having the contacts that I do, we hold these training camps in the hopes of getting our kids noticed, and getting them the opportunity to do more through soccer,” said Escobar, who played professionally with Major League Soccer’s Tampa Bay Mutiny and the A-League’s Nashville Metros.

The Edge School soccer program has already had five graduates who’ve gone on to play U.S. college soccer. Midfielder Ranee Premji moved on to the University of North Carolina, where she won an NCAA Division 1 title with the Tar Heels, and is a member of the Canadian U-20 women’s team.

Forward Tereza Stastny attends Notre Dame, and played on Canada’s U-17 World Cup squad, while defender Veronika Zischka attends the University of North Dakota and Courtney Peacock attends Gonzaga University.

Escobar is also planning a series of indoor soccer camps and clinics, starting in January, for teen soccer players not attending Edge School.

“It’s for Grade 6 to 12s,” he said.

“We like to focus on developing the individual player, so they can offer more and make a bigger impact on their team.”


Airdrie Today Staff

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