Jamboree builds excitement for soccer
Rosemount High School boys soccer coach Mike Floersch has seen the participation in his sport decrease at many schools in the state of Minnesota.
So this summer, Floersch and Rosemount soccer set out to keep the disturbing trend from hitting the Irish and Dakota Rev programs.
Rosemount has conducted soccer clinics, a micro soccer league, and, recently, a 3-on-3 soccer jamboree for youth players as a way to increase participation in the sport.
"That's kind of the point of this, to keep their interest for soccer and to make a connection to the high school," Floersch said. "As the number of boys playing soccer starts to dwindle in Minnesota, we hope little things like this in Rosemount will keep our numbers up."
The 3-on-3 jamboree on July 30 featured nine youth teams and an exhibition team filled with Irish high school players. There were four players per team to allow for substitutions and the tournament had eight teams of second- and third-graders and one team in the fourth- and fifth-grade level. The teams played a round-robin tournament, with exhibition matches against the fourth- and fifth-grade team and the high school team.
The interaction with the high school players was one of Floersch's most important aspects.
"It was fun to see it all come together," Floersch said. "It was a community effort. You always want the high school players to realize they are role models for these kids. I think they came away that it was pretty cool feeling like role models. They gave autographs. I think it just really says a lot for the program and the community to start building those relationships with the younger kids and the high school players. I always felt it was important to get that done."
The youth players received prizes for their participation, including medals. The top two teams earned trophies. A team with Ameer Ansari, Michael Yang, Ryan Loesch, and Jimmy Oss took first place, while Maru Tabara, Danny Murtell, Aidan Hauge-Hanf, and Jacob Back finished in second place.
The jamboree was the culmination of a summer boosting exposure to soccer in Rosemount. "
"We were thinking about, how we can get the numbers up in the traveling programs with Dakota Rev and make a connection to the high school as well?" Floersch said.
And Floersch isn't done.
"This is just the beginning of it," Floersch said of the jamboree. "We're hoping next year will be bigger.
"You hope they all come away with great experiences and the numbers will grow as we continue this the next few years."