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SRRHS Soccer Coach Cam Capurso

by Jared Huggins

"Mental focus" seems to be the war cry for Cam Capurso, the second year mens Varsity soccer coach at Sedona Red Rock High School. Soccer, arguably the most successful sports program at SRRHS, looks to sharpen its mental edge to improve for the upcoming season.

"Instilling in the players mental focus is crucial. Teaching them that everything they do while they are on the field counts helps them understand the importance of focus," explains Capurso, a personal trainer at Inner Strength Personal Training and a former collegiate player.

"Mental focus is what allows a player to develop the other fundamentals that are very important at this level. Without the focus they will not receive all the benefits from our practices and games."

Capurso does not believe in the old excuses of age and immaturity. "People will sometimes say "Oh, they are just teenagers, you can't expect them to stay on track for very long." I don't buy it. It is their decision whether or not they stay focused and on task.""Mental focus is the single hardest thing to teach a player. The reason it is so hard is that it is rarely expected from them." This kind of challenge is what Cam believes will improve his soccer club."I will challenge them to step out of their comfort zone," explains Capurso. "Once they surpass what they already know they can do then real improvement begins to take shape." Through mental focus and challenges, Capurso hopes to take his team to a second State championship in three years."I think we are strong contenders for a state title," said Capurso. "We are young but have gained experience from last year. I think it will prove to be valuable this upcoming season."

"We are fairly deep because of the experience last years freshman received. Last year's team made it to the Quarter Finals before being defeated by Phoenix Christian by a score of 4-1. "

The 2000 team is a year older and a year wiser and will depend heavily on their veteran leadership."I will look to build our team from the back. Our defense will be called upon for leadership and stability," says Capurso.

"We are going to have a very strong back four led by Tim Johnson, a Junior, and Max Koepke, a sophomore. I want the majority of our attack to develop from the back." The team will be defensively oriented but hardly defensive minded.

"I want the defense to be skilled enough to initiate our attack and sustain the attack, keeping pressure on the other team and allowing for more scoring opportunities for us."

This style of play is very aggressive and should make for some exciting soccer.

The teams first match is September 6 against Pinion High school. They open at home on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 4 p.m., against Ash Fork

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