Soccer: Rochelle kicks off summer conditioning program

Junior Brayan Orozco (left) passes the soccer ball to sophomore Ethan Tooley (right) during summer conditioning workouts this past week. (Photo by Russell Hodges)

Boys and girls rounding into shape for upcoming school year

ROCHELLE — Boys and girls in the Rochelle Township High School soccer program are taking advantage of open fields this summer, with players kicking off the program’s annual offseason conditioning workouts this past Tuesday. Conditioning sessions run twice weekly from early June through late July.

“We strive to improve our conditioning, but we also try to make things fun for the kids,” head coach Brad Male said. “We want the kids to show up, and we know that nobody wants to come out during the summer and just run. We incorporate different drills and sprints to make things interesting so the kids continue coming out.”

While players do their fair share of running, including workouts on the RTHS track and field facility, boys and girls also play through drills to improve techniques such as dribbling, passing and shooting. The summer conditioning program, which runs Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 to 7 p.m., offers both new and returning players an opportunity to build chemistry with teammates while rounding into shape for the upcoming school year.

“Any opportunity the kids have to come out and handle the ball is really important,” Male said. “It’s tough to get that same camaraderie built during the first week of school, so we’re much better off using the time we have available over the summer.”

The boys kick their season off in August, while the girls will resume play next spring. This past school year was Male’s first opportunity to serve as head coach of both teams, and the veteran coach said he’s looking forward to what the future holds for both programs.

“I enjoy seeing the progression of these kids,” Male said. “It’s fun seeing the kids come in as freshmen and watching how they improve through their senior years. It’s been an eye-opener for me and it’s something I look forward to every year.”

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