DIXFIELD —The annual Challenger British Soccer Camp has provided players an opportunity to share different cultures and styles of play.

Dirigo and Mountain Valley girls’ soccer players utilized Harlow Park as a centerpiece for showing and sharing the countless strategies involved in the international game. The British athletes took advantage of playing and experiencing a new environment.

The camp, held last week, was in its ninth year.

“I started hosting it to raise the level of skill,” longtime Dirigo coach Art Chamberlin said. “I felt that I was not being able to demonstrate all the drills and tendencies used in soccer. I wanted my players exposed to these things and hopefully use them in (practices and games). It has worked perfectly.”

Although soccer is an international game, different styles are being played throughout the world. The British group showcased its style in the open air of the River Valley.

Chamberlain said the cost was very reasonable and the kids don’t have to travel or sleep in a hot dorm room. After a scheduled secession, they still have the rest of their day to relax.

The Dirigo players included Lexi Noyes, Silvia Lutick, Natalie Bolduc, Cassie Moretto, Ambyr Wilson, Lindsey Brann, Emily Chase, Erin Turner and Gretchen Bradbury. The girls participating from Mountain Valley were Katie Puiia, Liz Adley, Katie Collette, Ellen and Kate Thorne, Hillary Dolloff, Abby Day, Autum Koch, Abbey Pinkham and Kristen Gould.

“Team-wise, we have gotten a better understanding of team play,” Chamberlin said. “This includes learning how to work together, both on offense and defense. The teams each compete in the Mountain Valley Conference, so it will be rewarding to see them compete against each other in the future.”

Dirigo was successful with a flat backline that was used after the 2005 Challenger camp. The Cougars have also used a rotating defense in an attempt to cover each areas of the field against a rushing offense.

This is the first year challenge coach Rachel Allen accompanied the British players. Allen has been in the U.S. since March coaching a club team in Rhode Island. She was coach of the year in 2008 for Challenger.

Allen was hosted by Beverly Glover (Noyes grandmother) and was taken on a moose watch to the Height of Land on Route 17, near Rangeley. They saw five, and Allen was thrilled after never having seen one.


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