SHRUB OAK, N.Y. – Coach Tim Hourahan is well-known for pouring his heart and soul into the Lakeland High School boys soccer program and Section 1 soccer.
That’s why having the third annual Hudson Valley ID Camp at Lakeland, which gives players exposure to colleges, being called off cuts so deeply.
“I am absolutely gutted at how much our players have missed out on over the past four to five months, and I cannot wait to get up, and running with them all again soon,” said Hourahan, the camp director.
Somers coach Brian Lanzetta and Mamaroneck coach Rich Becker have also been instrumental in the development of the camp.
Last year, 41 college coaches attended the event. This year, 105 players were registered, from as far east as Long Island and far north as Ulster County.
Originally, the camp was slated for the third weekend in July, like it had been the previous two years.
“However, these dates were pushed back by one month into August, in hopes that the NCAA would lift the recruiting ‘dead period,’ which would not allow any Division 1 or Division 2 coach to attend an event like this,” Hourahan said. “So, the decision was made, to move it back a month in hopes that ruling would change.”
The camp was moved to Aug. 7-9, but it got called off as the NCAA extended the “dead period” through the end of August because of coronavirus concerns.
“I am hearing now that this most likely will go through, the entire traditional fall season,” Hourahan said of the “dead period.” “Again, I know that this only pertains to D1 and D2 coaches. But when I was having some discussions if it would be worth it to just bring on D3 coaches, and maybe film camp and send away to other coaches, I just really felt that part of the allure of this camp is to have these college coaches, not only running training sessions on the field for the players, but also walking around the campus and down on field level, looking at players.”
On top of the “dead period” extension, some SUNY coaches mentioned to Hourahan that their recruiting budgets had been frozen for now, and they would not be able to travel and stay overnight, as they have in previous years.
“So, because of all of those combinations, and let’s face it, the current reality we are in, would it have really been safe for our players if we brought in more than 100 kids from eight different counties and 68 or so different school districts?” Hourahan said.
There is the possibility that the camp could run at the end of the fall or possibly early next spring.
“Even if the camp is only a one-day showcase on a smaller scale, I think it is very important, especially for our 2021 graduates, to find a way to put them on a stage where they can go compete in front of a bunch of college coaches,” Hourahan said. “These rising seniors have all already missed out on an entire spring and summer-club season, and are now currently looking at a shortened fall soccer season, at best, with the recent news out of New York State. The opportunities to play, and be seen, has been unlike any class before them, and I know that college coaches who have also not had the opportunity to watch players, are chomping at the bit to get out and recruit.”
As passionate as Hourahan is about attempting to reschedule the camp, he stresses it would only be done, under the proper circumstances.
“However, as much as I would like to get something up and running for the players, it has to be the right time and safe for our players to attend,” Hourahan said. “We can only hope that will happen sometime soon, and for the time being, I will continue to put out highlight tapes of all 105 registered players on our social media page.”