Soccer is family time for Camms

Games: A big part of the lives of father, mother and three children revolves around the sport.

Arundel At Play

Recreation and local sports in Anne Arundel County

April 27, 2005|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The five-member Camm family of Severna Park had a busy time Sunday.

In late morning, they went to one of the three children's soccer games. Back home afterward, they watched some of a televised Spanish professional game between Barcelona and Majorca. Then it was back out for another of the children's games, at 4:30 p.m.

Much of the Camms' time revolves around soccer.

John Camm is the driving force for soccer in his family. He's played the sport since his childhood and has taught and coached it about 20 years.

"I was a coach of soccer when I met my wife, Jill," Camm said. "It's just kind of there in our [family's life]. We don't really think about it. The kids have played other sports but seem to do the best in and enjoy soccer the most."

Camm, 42, played for Severna Park High School and Anne Arundel Community College.

These days, he coaches - two boys teams in the Greater Severna Park Athletic Association's youth soccer program, also known as the Green Hornets program, and the varsity girls at Broadneck High School in the fall, as well as a clinic for younger children that his daughter, 3, has just started playing in.

Coaching his children, said Camm, is difficult because there's a fine line to walk between being a father and a coach. But because soccer is such a part of their family life, Camm said there's an innate understanding when he must come down on one of his children.

"You want to treat them the same," Camm said. "I'm definitely harder on Evan, partly because he's the oldest ... but they understand."

Evan, 11, plays on the Severna Park Rowdies travel team, which plays in the highly competitive National Capital Soccer League that spans the greater Washington suburbs.

Max, 9, plays for the Severna Park Fire, also an NCSL team.

Jill Camm said that her family loves to make day trips out of road games that Evan or Max play in. If the boys play in Northern Virginia, all of the Camms will go and try to have some fun in the area where the game is played, not just going for the contest and coming back.

Evan, a sixth-grader at Severna Park Middle School, said his family does a lot of things involving soccer. They'll play it on the field, watch it on television and talk about the sport, such as on Sunday, when there were two games played and others watched on television.

"Soccer's a big part of my family, and we spend a lot of time doing it," Evan said. "It feels good that I have people supporting me, and it's helpful to have my dad there because he's my coach, and he can help me."

Max agreed with his brother, especially because he gets even more help. The third-grader at Folger McKinsey Elementary School said he knows that he'll have a good chance to keep getting better because his family has a lot of places to learn.

"I like soccer partly because it's a lot of exercise, and when my brother plays it, he helps me train so that I get better a lot, and my dad coaches me a lot," Max said. "I play [other sports], but I like soccer the best because my family plays it."

The Camms are working on teaching the game to the youngest member of their family, "a person whose name has a definite soccer feel to it. That would be Mia ... Camm.

John Camm laughed when asked if his daughter's name had anything to do with an older player with a very similar name, the recently retired Mia Hamm, who some consider the greatest player ever in women's soccer.

Camm said the naming of his daughter was "partially" because of Hamm, but he really liked the name, the main one that he and his wife agreed on.

But they're now trying to make soccer a part of Mia's life, despite her age - she'll turn 4 this summer. Her "game" - learning to dribble and shoot - occurs Saturday mornings at Severna Park Middle School, in a clinic for kids ages 3 to 8.

Jill Camm said they're making sure not to pressure Mia. She likes soccer sometimes, and sometimes she doesn't, said Mom. But if she continues to play, it's clear that she'll have plenty of support.

"Soccer has always been a part of our lives," said Jill Camm, a social worker in Anne Arundel County. "We all love to watch it on TV together. I love going to the kids' games and watching them play. I have to say we're really lucky - the teams are filled with wonderful people. I think it's been positive all around."

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