Silegy Soccer Camp is a rite of summer

Lisa Silegy organizes the “Little Cheeses.” 

Lisa Silegy organizes the “Little Cheeses.”  STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

A young player runs through the obstacle course at Silegy Soccer Camp at South Meadow Middle School as coach Tod Silegy looks on.

A young player runs through the obstacle course at Silegy Soccer Camp at South Meadow Middle School as coach Tod Silegy looks on. STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

Players scrimmage in the “soccer box.” 

Players scrimmage in the “soccer box.”  STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

Coach Tod Silegy addresses the group at the 24th Silegy Soccer Camp at South Meadow School in Peterborough. 

Coach Tod Silegy addresses the group at the 24th Silegy Soccer Camp at South Meadow School in Peterborough.  STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

Players in the “soccer box.” 

Players in the “soccer box.”  STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

”Little Cheeses” listen to instructions from Tod Silegy. 

”Little Cheeses” listen to instructions from Tod Silegy.  STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

One of the younger players heads into the obstacle course. 

One of the younger players heads into the obstacle course.  STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

Silas Bassard, one of the assistant coaches, hands out lollipops to the winning relay team. 

Silas Bassard, one of the assistant coaches, hands out lollipops to the winning relay team.  STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

Three campers with their lollipops. 

Three campers with their lollipops.  STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

Campers work on their dribbling.

Campers work on their dribbling. STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

Coach Nel Lima watching players in the soccer box. 

Coach Nel Lima watching players in the soccer box.  STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

Players go for the ball in  the “box soccer” arena. 

Players go for the ball in  the “box soccer” arena.  STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

By JESSECA TIMMONS

Monadnock Ledger Transcript

Published: 07-05-2024 8:40 AM

Modified: 07-05-2024 12:03 PM


When Tod Silegy speaks, children listen.

During the second week of this summer’s Silegy Soccer Camp, children ages 5 to 14 sat at rapt attention as “Coach Sil” reviewed the morning’s drills.

“What should you do when the pressure is on and you need to get rid of the ball?” Silegy asked the crowd of campers. “Should you dribble, or should you pass?”

The group answered overwhelmingly to “pass.”

“Then why do most of you dribble?” Silegy responded. “Ninety percent of the time, when you dribble, you will lose the ball, so you’re right. you have to pass. You have to look for that ‘window of opportunity – the ‘woo.’ What should you always look for?”

“Look for the ‘woo’!” the campers yelled back.

Silegy, known as “Sil” to children and adults alike, has been coaching soccer his entire professional life, including 24 years at South Meadow School. Prior to joining South Meadow and becoming the school’s athletic director, physical education teacher and three-season coach, Silegy was a multi-championship coach at Franklin Pierce University for 22 years. A Peterborough native who graduated from ConVal, Silegy retired from teaching at the end of this school year.

The camp, which still has openings available for week three, July 8 to 12, takes place at the soccer field at South Meadow School from 9 a.m. to noon.

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“After all these years, we have this really well organized,” Silegy said, indicating the tents, water bottles, backpacks, and soccer equipment neatly arrayed at the side of the field. His wife, Lisa, assists with the organization and operations.

Campers spend part of the day scrimmaging in a “box soccer arena,” a small, enclosed 30- by 30-yard field in which campers scrimmage four-on-four. The walls, which are on loan from Silegy’s alma mater, Keene State, keep balls from going out of bounds and enable more consistent play.

“The soccer box creates a more sustained game. The activity level is greater, and the action is continuous,” Silegy explained. “It eliminates all that lost time chasing after balls when they go out of bounds.”

Assistant coach Nel Lima said he has been coaching at the camp for years, and his 7-year-old son has been attending since the age of 5.

“He just loves it, and I love it, and it’s just a fantastic experience,” Lima said.

Camper Silas Brassard, 14, of Temple, plans to try out for soccer when he starts school at ConVal in the fall.

“It’s a really fun camp. I have been coming here for a while and I have learned a ton,” Brassard said.

Clara Wilsher, 16, and her sister Sophie, 9, of Peterborough, are both huge fans of Silegy Soccer Camp.

“I love it!” Clara said in between activities. “I always came here when I was a kid, and this is my second year coaching. I love working with the littlest kids. They are so much fun.”

After Silegy ran through the schedule for the upcoming week, he asked if anyone had a question. One young boy raised his hand.

“Sil, is this your last camp?” he called out.

Silegy paused, and then had to wipe his eyes.

“You got me with that one, kiddo,” he said. “You got me. We’ll see.”

For information or to register for next week’s Silegy Soccer Camp, go to todsilegysoccercamp.com.