August Academy Affiliate Club Spotlight: Sporting Columbia & Sporting Lee’s Summit – Sporting KC Youth

August Academy Affiliate Club Spotlight: Sporting Columbia & Sporting Lee’s Summit

SPORTING COLUMBIA

CLUB BIO

Sporting Columbia is Mid-Missouri’s premier youth soccer program, serving over 1500 soccer players. The club is proud to play a part in creating positive soccer and life experiences for all players, recreational and competitive. As an official Academy Affiliate of Sporting Kansas City, players have a direct pipeline to Sporting Kansas City’s Academy and youth development initiatives. Affording them access to the experience of receiving heightened levels of training. At Sporting Columbia, we’re committed to developing the player, the individual and the team. We will accomplish our goals by promoting and teaching fundamental and advanced soccer skills, sportsmanship, teamwork and a love for the game of soccer. Sporting Columbia’s player development has been well documented as we have prompted players into the SKC Academy system, Sporting St. Louis Girls Academy system, as well as placed over 150 players into various college level programs in the last 10 years. Sporting Columbia is a major player in building Columbia’s soccer infrastructure by privately developing the Pride Park Soccer complex. Sporting Columbia’s competitive division is the only one in the area with it’s own training facility.

COACH SPOTLIGHT

GARY DREWING
2010 Boys Coach

Gary has been a very important part of our youth program. He has done a fantastic implementing our curriculum, and it especially shows with his 2010 boys who are currently participating in the Heartland 1st Division. He has also most recently placed one of his players into the SKC Academy system.

ALEX JOHNSON
2008 Girls Coach

Alex has done an incredible job with his group for the last 3 seasons as they have earned a promotion every season that he has been coaching, and has them been placed into the 3rd Division this season. Most recently Alex’s team won their bracket in the Heartland Fall Kickoff Challenge

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT

COLE HENKENMEIER
2008 Boys Player

Cole is a player that has all the attributes that you would like on your team. He is strong, fit, skilled, athletic, coachable, determined, and a great teammate. A captain without the arm band. His passion for the game can be seen during training and matches but also at home in his backyard. A player that helps teammates out with their technical ability but also their tactical awareness. A player like Cole has a bright future on and off the soccer field.

ABBY BIEGHLER
2002 Girls Player

Abby is a very technical player and works at her craft every day. She is often at the top of the leaderboard for Techne Futbol, and had a fantastic 65 days training streak. This hard work shows on the field, as Abby is a top performer in every game. Because of her abilities, Abby earned the opportunity to play on the older high school girls team this season.

For more information on Sporting Columbia please visit sportingcolumbia.net and follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

SPORTING LEE'S SUMMIT

CLUB BIO

Sporting Lee’s Summit is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run organization committed to providing our community with low cost, high quality soccer programs. Nearly 5,000 members from Lee’s Summit and surrounding communities participate in our programs annually. The mission of Sporting Lee’s Summit is to create a positive environment in which ALL players can do what they most enjoy, having fun! The primary vision of Sporting Lee’s Summit is to provide our players with soccer programs that teach fundamentals and encourage player development in a fun, supporting environment. Sporting Lee’s Summit values teamwork, sportsmanship and teaching the importance of integrity. At Sporting Lee’s Summit, we understand that through team activities, we are encouraging individuals to perform in group settings, growing self-confidence and creating future leaders that will transcend soccer and help our players in everyday life.

In the spring of 1992, the Lee’s Summit Soccer Association (LSSA) was formed with around 650 players. In the fall of 2003, LSSA created a competitive division that started with 16 teams and more than 200 players. In 2007, LSSA add an adult summer league and a “special needs” youth soccer division. This division provides youth soccer players with physical or mental disabilities the ability to recreate and play soccer in a fun, friendly, and supportive environment. In the spring of 2015, LSSA partnered with Sporting Kansas City and become an affiliate club member. At that time, LSSA started to be known as Sporting Lee’s Summit. At this time, Sporting Lee’s Summit serves over 2,300 recreational and competitive players supported by over 300 volunteer coaches and assistant coaches.

RECENT CLUB ACCOMPLISHMENTS

One of the greatest accomplishments for our club is that it is volunteer-run organization. Our program wouldn’t function without the commitment from volunteers. Parents volunteer to coach their kids. They dedicate time towards running practice, coaching games, and mentoring players while building a soccer family. Board members are very often coaches and want to contribute more towards improving the overall program. Division Reps serve on the board and represent the coaches in their division, separated by gender and age. Some responsibilities include getting the teams set up on draft night, getting information to the coaches, and resolving conflicts in the division. Assistant Commissioners support Division Reps and the Executive Board supports the league. All Board members also serve as field marshal a few times each season, in addition to their regular duties, none of which is paid. Everyone involved loves to serve this community and provide an outlet for youth and adults to participate in recreational sports, regardless of ability level. The time and energy that is donated by the hundreds of volunteers is immeasurable and what makes our program so fantastic.

COACH SPOTLIGHT

JASE ALPERS
Middle School Boys Recreational Coach

Jase has been involved in the SLS recreational program for years coaching his sons and daughter. He respects each child and the different strengths they bring to the team. He exemplifies his commitment to the team by always being early to practice and games, communicating with parents and by ALWAYS being positive and encouraging each child’s development. Jase leads by example and the players on his team learn a lot from him in the way of perseverance. Through rough spots, he promotes the integrity of the game. Jase is incredibly humble and it shows in the way he appreciates each player and the way he teaches them patience, self-respect and forgiveness. He’s a great coach and a fantastic role model for many coaches in our program.

JENNIFER BORGSTADT
U11 Boys Head Coach

Jennifer is the coach for the Sporting LS Ubuntu Strikers; a Boys U11 D3 team. Ubuntu is a South African word often associated with Nelson Mandela. There is no exact translation in English, but it is often translated as “I am because we are”. It is more than a word, but a way of life and for us, an expectation for what we hope our team will become. It is a willingness to serve the greater good and challenge to not only be your very best, but a call to action to bring out the best in others. Each week a player or coach on our team teaches a character trait that is important both on the soccer field and in life. We have had everything from magic tricks, demonstrations with spaghetti, videos, team building exercises, games, and more to learn about character traits that will help the players not only become great soccer players and teammates, but also great people. We believe the success of the team and the success of the individual are interconnected in such a way that you cannot have one without the other. The team is comprised of some all around great athletes who play with a lot of skill and heart. Their hard work in the off season is paying off with early success in league play.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT

CARTER DUNGEY
U10 Boys Player

Carter Dungey is playing his 2nd year of competitive soccer with the U10 Sporting Lee’s Summit Rangers. Carter loves playing soccer and has a knack for finding the back of the net. He has been a major contributor in helping the Rangers move up to Division 2 this fall. Despite the higher level of competition, Carter is off to a great start and is leading the team with 13 goals through the first 8 games. Even more impressive is that he is 2nd on the team in assists. His coach, Chip Mitchell, said, “I have been really impressed with how Carter has grown as a teammate this year. He is always attacking the goal, but this year I have seen him getting his eyes up and finding his teammates. That is helping our team to create better scoring opportunities and it is contagious when one of your team’s leaders is sharing the ball.” The Rangers are off to a good start this season and moved to 5-3 overall, and 1-1 in league play with a win this past weekend. Five players scored in that contest and Carter was of course one of them.

SOPHIA EYRE
U16 Girls Player

Sophie is the heartbeat of any team she plays on. Her work ethic and enthusiasm is second to none. She has always been a joy to coach. I have had the pleasure to coach her since she was 8 years old. She primarily plays midfield but has the versatility to play any position (except goalie) I will not share a U8 story. She battled back from an injury during covid to be able to play this club season since she missed her Freshman High School season. Just yesterday after some difficult games she showed up for the second game of the game with a lace skirt over her uniform. It was exactly what the team needed to relax and compete for the second game of the day. She has great potential and I look forward to seeing how far she can go. What ever she chooses to do she will have fun and elevate those around her.

For more information on Sporting Lee’s Summit please visit sportingls.org and follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

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