Dozens of local athletes sharpened their soccer skills this past fall thanks to the combined efforts of the Central Maine Community College men’s and women’s soccer teams.

About 25 members of Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Auburn/Lewiston Clubhouse participated in a free soccer clinic organized by coaches and players from the CMCC teams and their coaches. The Mustang contingent led athletes in several drills and exercises aimed at introducing them to the exciting, fast-paced fun of soccer.

“I felt there was a lot to be grateful for,” said Heather Sturks, head coach of the CMCC women’s soccer team. “We wanted to give back to the community and we couldn’t think of a better place than the Boys & Girls Club.”

Sturks – who was recently named Coach of the Year by the Yankee Small College Conference – and fellow Men’s Soccer Head Coach Bryan Wallace recruited eager players who jumped at the chance to get involved in their community and helped organize the event.

Club member Shawna Leblanc, 10, of Lewiston, said the clinic gave her and her friends a chance to learn some new and exciting soccer moves. She also enjoyed interacting with the college players and learning about Central Maine Community College.

In addition to teaching youth soccer fundamentals, players also spent the afternoon encouraging young players that anything is possible. From playing on a college team to doing well in school, players mentored youngsters throughout the clinic.

“It helps build up soccer in the community and it helps us build up as a team as well,” said Bri Lajoie, an 18-year-old freshman from Lewiston. “A lot of kids may think they can’t go to college. My coming here as an athlete shows them that they can.”

Following the clinic, members enjoyed a pizza party with the Mustang players thanks to donations from Dominos Pizza and Pat’s Pizza in Auburn.

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