West Hartford continues late manager’s legacy with women’s soccer camp – We-Ha

The “Soccer Pride” camp taking place this week at Conard High School continues a tradition initiated by former coach Kerrie Massaro, who died in November 2021.

Liz Tracy (left), Conard’s football coach and Soccer Pride camp manager, gives a camper a high-five. The Soccer Pride Camp, for girls ages 6-13, was held at Conard High School from August 8-12 and continues a tradition established by former coach Kerrie Massaro. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

By Ronni Newton

The “Soccer Pride” girls’ camp started by a former Conard High School coach and PE teacher has returned in 2022, maintaining the tradition of a program started at least 15 years ago by Kerrie Massaro, who died of a breast cancer in November 2021.

Two current coaches, Liz Tracy and Nick Moffo, called me in the fall and expressed interest in continuing the tradition to honor Kerrie’s legacy,” said Marc Blanchard, Director of Recreation Services.

Massaro coached women’s soccer at Conard for 16 years, the last six as the university’s head coach.

Tracy was named head coach in 2021, and Moffo, who was head coach of Conard’s women’s varsity team for many years before handing the program over to Massaro, was brought in upon retirement to be an assistant. Tracy, a 1997 Conard graduate, was an All-State football player for Moffo when she was a student.

The Soccer Pride Camp, for girls ages 6-13, was held at Conard High School from August 8-12 and continues a tradition established by former coach Kerrie Massaro. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Tracy said registration for this year’s camp was about the best ever, with around 40 girls aged 6-13 registered to attend Soccer Pride for the week of August 8-12. In addition to Moffo, Conard’s captains and alumni serve as advisors.

“Pride” was given additional meaning this year with each letter of the word transformed into a Phrase of the Day for the five-day camp:

  • “P” is for positive mental attitude.
  • “R” is for respecting ourselves and our teammates
  • “I” is for smart choices
  • “D” is for Dreams and Goals
  • “E” is for effort and education

“We talk about it every day,” Tracy said.

The girls soccer camp is designed for all levels of players – those new to the sport as well as seasoned travel team veterans. They work on technical skills like dribbling, shooting, passing and juggling, as well as tactical skills. The girls are divided into four age groups and compete at the end of each day.

“Every day we work on a particular skill,” Tracy said. For safety reasons, the U.S. Soccer Federation doesn’t allow players to head a soccer ball until they’re in seventh grade, and Tracy said some reach high school without learning the proper technique. of hitting.

Conard’s soccer coach Liz Tracy (second from left) throws a playground ball to Soccer Pride camp attendees who are learning proper heading technique. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Using a very soft play ball, she and the other counselors taught campers how to steer a ball safely by breaking it down into small steps that they work on every day.

Monday and Tuesday were extremely hot and humid, but Tracy said they took frequent water breaks and spent as much time as possible in a shaded area in a corner of the Conard track.

“I think everyone is having fun,” said Blanchard, who stopped by camp Wednesday.

“It’s a big thing for Kerrie’s legacy,” Moffo said. “She had an incredible impact on football.”

Nick Moffo (right) is now an assistant coach at Conard. The Soccer Pride Camp, for girls ages 6-13, was held at Conard High School from August 8-12 and continues a tradition established by former coach Kerrie Massaro. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The Conard girls soccer team will host the “Coach Massaro Memorial Pink Out” on October 14, 2022 when they face Rocky Hill at home. The game starts at 6 p.m. and the team will be wearing special pink shirts and raising awareness for breast cancer as well as funds to support Coach Massaro’s Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship fund, launched as part of a GoFundMe campaign after Massaro’s death, will annually award “a senior Conard High School football player who embodies the characteristics that Kerrie modeled as a former athlete, teacher and coach: courage, kindness and determination”.

Soccer Pride Camp attendees learn proper ball heading technique using a soft game ball. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The Soccer Pride Camp, for girls ages 6-13, was held at Conard High School from August 8-12 and continues a tradition established by former coach Kerrie Massaro. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The Soccer Pride Camp, for girls ages 6-13, was held at Conard High School from August 8-12 and continues a tradition established by former coach Kerrie Massaro. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The Soccer Pride Camp, for girls ages 6-13, was held at Conard High School from August 8-12 and continues a tradition established by former coach Kerrie Massaro. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The Soccer Pride Camp, for girls ages 6-13, was held at Conard High School from August 8-12 and continues a tradition established by former coach Kerrie Massaro. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The Soccer Pride Camp, for girls ages 6-13, was held at Conard High School from August 8-12 and continues a tradition established by former coach Kerrie Massaro. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The Soccer Pride Camp, for girls ages 6-13, was held at Conard High School from August 8-12 and continues a tradition established by former coach Kerrie Massaro. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Soccer Pride Camp attendees learn proper ball heading technique using a soft game ball. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Nick Moffo (right) is now an assistant coach at Conard. The Soccer Pride Camp, for girls ages 6-13, was held at Conard High School from August 8-12 and continues a tradition established by former coach Kerrie Massaro. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

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