September 8th, 2019

LCSN Partners with Kentucky Players Academy for another year

Samantha Stallings

Staff Writer


LCSN Partners with Kentucky Players Academy for another year
Photo from KPA Facebook

The Louisville Catholic Sports Network is pleased to announce that we’re again  partnering with The Kentucky Players Academy and will have a Boys’ and Girls’ Soccer Player of the Week during the regular season and postseason. 

 

LCSN Managing Editor Samantha Stallings will select the players based on their performances the prior week. The players will be announced every Tuesday and at the end of the year there will be a Girls’ and Boys’ player of the year.

 

The Kentucky Players Academy ( KPAsoccer.org) is a supplemental soccer training organization that is not club affiliate, but provides winter training, summer training and college recruitment opportunities for aspiring soccer players, boy or girls, from the grades 7th thru 12th grade. The players meet separately on Mondays and Wednesdays either at Assumption Sports Green (KPA Girls) or St. Xavier High School (KPA Boys).

 

The KPA provides a competitive and positive environment so players can get better.

 

What is KPA and how did it start?

 

KPA is supplemental training to the overall soccer club experience. Our coaches have extensive experience in club and college soccer and are devoted to providing an affordable, high-level soccer experience in a state of the art athletic facility. Our coaches encourage players to play with freedom and without pressure in a highly competitive environment, helping them not only to get extra touches but play with some of Kentucky's brightest and like-minded soccer players!

 

What is your role with KPA?

 

The KPA was formed roughly six years ago and I have been heavily involved in the soccer community since moving to Louisville in 1996. I have coached for over 26 years at the club level, 20 years as a Varsity Coach at St. Xavier High School, co-owner of Mockingbird Valley Soccer Club, co-founder of the Kentucky Fire Juniors soccer club and co-owner/coach of the Louisville Lightning.  All of these experiences led me to the introduction of the KPA, where players from other clubs could train together and allow high level players from the community to come together regardless of club and limitations to “just play!”

 

Several of the clubs helped launch the KPA, such as Javanon and LSA. Today Ohio Elite, Falls City Soccer Club and Kentucky Fire Juniors are all well represented. Our goal is to expose players to college coaches as well as help guide them through the recruitment process. We have a wonderful staff including coaches from Hanover College, University of Louisville & Bellarmine University. We also have several Louisville City FC players on our staff. Lastly, Hanover Head coach Matt Wilkerson is my partner and heads the curriculum for our programming and has done an outstanding job because he puts the players first, always!

 

What impact does KPA have on the soccer community in Louisville? 

 

There is no better illustration of KPA’s impact than the soccer match Sept. 3 at Lynn Stadium between the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville. There were 6 players on that field that were KPA kids.

Now with that said, did they get to those awesome schools because of KPA? That’s a no! But KPA afforded those boys (We also have two KPA girls for the University of Louisville as well) a place they could go twice a week in the offseason and just play with other driven kids and maintain their skillset over the winter.

 

The KPA IS A PLAYER FIRST ORGANIZATION! We believe the KPA has helped bring the players together from the community as well as the surrounding areas. We have some players that travel over two hours each way to our sessions. Training takes place in the winter months (every Monday and Wednesday evening). The players play in all types of weather, from rain, to snow to temperature's in the high 20's. The players keep showing up and love the environment. We never take attendance, if you show up we will train.

 

We are very blessed to have such facilities as St. Xavier and Assumption Green to train the boys and girls respectively. Without their help, we would have no KPA! Our staff is committed to taking phone calls on behalf of players from college coaches including writing recommendation's as well as evaluating the individual after training. In my mind it has been a total team effort between the clubs and the KPA- Without a true Academy system in Louisville, the KPA was just another vehicle put in place to help!  

 

Most parents have little experience in the recruitment process, and we do our best to make this process a little easier for them. We also provide guest speakers with positive messages during the course of our Fall seasons. At the end of the day, the self esteem for our teens is most important and I believe with the staff we have in place we can help in these areas. 

 

What is the Player of the Year Award?

 

We are very excited to partner with Louisville Catholic Sports again this year. It is an opportunity, each week, to recognize the high school players throughout the community. But this year we decided to add a very special end of the season award.  We will work with the folks at Louisville Catholic Sports to present the Kentucky Players Academy’s Catholic High School Boy & Girl Player of the Year Award. The selected player (Boy & Girl) will receive a fully paid scholarship to 2019-20 Kentucky Players Academy Winter Training ($500 Value)

 

How is high school soccer doing in Louisville?

 

I believe in high school soccer. I believe its a wonderful platform to learn about team, commitment, loyalty etc. The atmosphere for the games always changes and spirit factor is usually at a high level. High School soccer allows the player to exhibit pride in their school and teammate's. It is a big deal to the players! The teams are becoming more competitive throughout the state and that is good for the game. 

 

 

Do you believe that having LCFC has helped build up soccer in Louisville? 

 

I believe LCFC is great for our city. It helps unite soccer fans around the community. For us personally, we have several players on our staff and they are wonderful additions as many of our kids aspire to be part of their journey and they have many great lessons to pass on.

 

In a separate thought, I do have to say without coming off being critical, I wish that more money would be allocated to building fields or some type of complex for our youth soccer players. The new stadium is great and a wonderful addition to our city, but the youth movement in soccer has not been addressed. But if the growth continues and obviously the success of the Lou City team, I have no doubt in my mind that someone somewhere at sometime will take the next step to building a proper soccer complex here in Louisville.

 

I love all these kids, the time and dedication they put in and thats why I started KPA. If anyone has questions about joining the time is now! Go to KPASoccer.org and register! Thank you


 

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