Nine youth soccer players from Statesville’s Impact FC took part in the Olympic Development Program North Carolina sub-regional on January 4-5 in Winston Salem and Greensboro.
Kendall Brown (16), Kelsey Brown (11), Ethan Holdren (13), David Taylor (13), George Frisbee (13), Jackson Cline (13), Josiah Smith (12), Hunter Deal (12), Thomas Schieck (12), represented Impact FC and played against teams from Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and West Virginia during the sub-regional friendlies.
Created by US Youth Soccer (USYS), ODP is a national identification and development program for high-level players. The program identifies and develops youth players throughout the country to represent their state association, region and the United States in soccer competition.
This recognition can be a big step for youth players, as the ODP process sees them train and play games under the helm of regional college coaches. This provides the players recognition and an opportunity to show their skills off at a young age in front of colleges in the region.
Impact FC Vice President Michael Frisbee said this recognition is not only big for the players but also the club as a whole, as they try to grow their footprint in the Statesville area.
“We are a small club so it is really a good way for our players to get exposure to the college coaches,” Frisbee said. “We are a small club with big clubs around us. It’s a money game now. We try to keep the price down so everyone can play soccer.”
Frisbee said this is the first year trying out for ODP for a number of the Impact FC players. He said he hopes this is just the beginning and hopes ODP will help not only the club grow but also the players.
“Seeing those guys faces when they were playing other states is great,” Frisbee said. “For the club it’s really good, just to see those guys excitement and see them working hard trying to achieve their goals. My son and many of our players want to play in college, so anything we can do to help them out, that’s my goal.”
Next, the players will travel to Williamsburg, Va., in February to compete in another sub-regional where they will compete in another round of friendlies against other states from around the southeast. From that point, the players will have the opportunity to go to regionals to represent the state of North Carolina against other teams in the south.