Friday, December 20, 2013
By Matt DiFilippo firstname.lastname@example.org
Drew Parsons has a father who's a college soccer coach, and a mother who's a college admissions counselor. So yes, there is some occasional discussion as to where Drew would like to play soccer in college.
With the events of the past two months, Parsons is on the way to expanding his options.
Parsons, who will be a junior at Mt. Blue High School this fall and made first-team all-Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference last year, competed in an Olympic Developmental Program camp, becoming one of about 40 players from a process involving players from 17 states.
"I got to play at the highest level that I've ever played at," Parsons said. "Everything's really fast. The kids are bigger."
The way the process works is like this: US Youth Soccer divides the country into four regions, with Maine to Virginia representing Region 1. There are six age groups, from U12 to U17.
At a four day camp in June at Rider University in New Jersey, the players from Region 1 were whittled down to approximately 40 in each age group, who attended an ID camp last month in Pennsylvania. From there, the top 18 out of that 40 play in a tournament in November against teams from the other three regions. The best of those players represent the U.S. in an international tournament.
Parsons will find out next month whether he made the cut for the final 18 in Region 1. By making the final 40, he can participate in a training camp at Penn State in January, which is attended by national team coaches.
"He's the only boy in any of the age groups (in the final 40) in Maine, from U12 to U17," said Chris Parsons, Drew's father and the men's soccer coach at Thomas College.
Drew, who plays center midfielder and forward, goes about 6 foot 2, 140 lbs.
"I was one of the taller kids there," he said. "But I'm pretty skinny, so I was on the weaker side, I guess."
Still, Drew thought he held his own at the ID camp.
"I did the same process last year," he said. "Last year, I was probably in the lower half of the kids in the pool. This year, I felt like I was one of the better kids there, and I have a chance to make the region team."
And those conversations about Drew's soccer future?
"We've definitely thought about it," he said. "I don't know right now. I'd like to play at the highest level possible."
Matt DiFilippo -- 861-9243