WAXAHACHIE — Investing in youth to make a worthwhile difference in a child's life is what Kernow Storm Futbol Club strives to achieve through its soccer programs.
“It’s not just about soccer,” expressed Antony Penna, Director of Soccer Operations and Coaching Director. “It’s more about creating a family environment and an environment where the players can be leaders, learn to communicate, and they have better decision-making skills outside of our program. We really are about that.”
The full-service soccer club is holding a signing day this Saturday, July 1, encouraging players born from 2008 to 2012 to play academy soccer and players born from 1999 to 2007 to enter into the competitive sport.
Founded in 2004 and currently located in Waxahachie, the faith-based nonprofit operates in several other practice locations that include the southern portions of the DFW Metroplex and in Weatherford.
With 400 students enrolled, the club also partners with well-known affiliates such as North Texas Soccer, City FC, National Soccer Coaches Association of America, US Youth Soccer, and more.
Catering to children as young as two and as old as collegiate athletes, Kernow Storm has upheld a seven-phase program that combines technical and physical skills with character-driven results.
“We have Fundaminis, ages two to six, so they’re learning the fundamentals, and we try to teach them body movement and incorporate a lot of the family to be involved in that way,” Penna explained the pre-academy phase. “Then we have our Junior Academy which is our six through ten-year-olds where we have professional coaches, some that come from England, and then we have a couple of Spanish and American coaches. This is for players who want a little more than the recreational side, but want to get prepared to play competitively.”
As the discipline continues on the competitive pathway, students ranging from 11 to 19 years old are guided into the club's elite program.
“And then we have our elite program, and this year we’ll be playing the Red River Division, so we’ll be playing from Arkansas, Kansas, Northern Oklahoma, and North Texas,” Penna explained. “We take care of players who want to go and play at the D-1 college level and further. And we also take care of the kids that want to be in an organization that’s organized and has professional coaches and good teams. So we start from two through college, and hopefully, they come back in as either coaches or parents."
Through Kernow Storm, Penna goes on to say that teams can play at the local and national level, as well as in tournaments throughout the year.
With a coaching staff that has worked for professional soccer leagues such as the Premier League and the English Futbol League in the United Kingdom, Penna expresses their the club’s core mission is to create a family environment that is conducive to learning for players, coaches, and family members.
“Our goal as a club is to not to only mold the children into talented and knowledgeable soccer players,” Penna articulated the club’s intention. “We incorporate sustainable values such as character development, social growth, communication skills, leadership skills, team building skills and risk aversion into our curriculum that helps them grow up to be outstanding citizens.”
As the old season wraps up and the new year inches closer, Penna encourages players to try out for one of the club’s teams through their signing day.
“Any youth or juniors who want to join our program, that’s the time to come out,” Penna articulated the July 1 tryout. “Any new kids can come look and try out with the teams, and we always have a place for everybody in our club, so it’s not just, ‘Hey, you didn’t make this team, bye-bye.’”
“We’ve got another option to build up to the team they want to be on,” he expounded. “It’s not worth coming on the team and not having any 'game time' when you can go on another team, have playing time, and start looking at them throughout the year and move them up to play,” he motivated.
Along with snacks, games, and a chance to connect with other players and families, Penna urges those interested to attend.
“It’s going to be a day where once they come in, they don’t have to leave, they can still hang out, and the kids can have some fun. Whereas the adults have to sign, sign, sign,” Penna joked.
“You’re not just signing up for soccer. You’re signing up for an experience, no matter what league you’re in. It’s so much more than just playing, we’re trying to accomplish taking in kids who want to get better, and we’re putting them into situations and environments that allow them to get better and excel.” He finished with a grin.
The Kernow Storm Futbol Club’s signing day will be held this Saturday, July 1 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at 2636 Patrick Drive in Waxahachie. For more information, visit stormfutbol.com or call (972)-937-8676.
Chelsea Groomer, @ChelseaGroomer