Former Camden Haven Redbacks 1st grade player Lachlan Sessions was offered a soccer scholarship with Cloud County Community College in Kansas USA to play and study which he accepted late last year.
His first semester as been an amazing experience for this keen young soccer player and he forwarded the following story in his own words, for publication in the Courier.
.... “My first semester was a real eye opener. It didn’t take long for the group to settle in, we all started bonding from the word go. Virtually straight away our pre season training started. Three weeks of 3 a day practices was very difficult and at times I think we all questioned was this worth it. After the 3 weeks of preseason training our season started as did our schooling. We continued to train everyday, but instead of the 3 a day’s we were doing for preseason, it was cut to just one. It was difficult to juggle it all, the school work, the training, extra study and of course the games. We were averaging about 2 games a week. The shortest away trip for a game was 2 hours, the rest were anywhere between 4 and 10 hour trips. In the end though it was all worth it, as we went on to win the National Championships held in Phoenix, Arizona but not before winning the Kansas Regional Tournament, beating off Coffeyville in the final 2-1 and rivals, Barton Community College 4-0 in the semi final. ( Barton were the only team to beat us during the regular season, 3-2 in double overtime). After proving to be the best team in Kansas for 2 year junior colleges, we then played a district final, for a place in the National Tournament. The district final was played at our home ground against Western Texas College, we beat them 2-0. Upon arriving in Phoenix for the National Tournament, we didn’t really know what to expect but after dominating Lincoln College 4-0 in our first game of the tournament, we were pretty confident we could go the distance. Up next in the semi final were the current back to back National Champions Tyler, a college from Texas. We played them earlier in the year and drew 0-0. This was no doubt the team to beat. After no score during regular time and no score after 2 overtimes, it went to penalties, with us prevailing 3-1 in a nail biter. To be honest this felt like the final, we knew having beaten them we were a real chance of now winning the final. The final was to be played against Monroe College from New York. We dominated in this game from start to finish winning 4-1 to become the first team from Kansas to win a men’s soccer National Championship for junior colleges. We also became only the second team in Cloud County Community College history to win a National Championship for any sport, behind the women’s basketball team of 2000/2001. Despite the fairy tail finish to the season, it wasn’t easy, it was an arm wrestle for every player to earn game time, every time you stepped out on the pitch, whether to train or play, you were fighting for game time with your team mates. However, I have learnt a great deal in the first 4 and a half months and had experiences and memories that will last a lifetime. Not only on the football field did things go well but I also got accredited in basic sports coaching and basic first aid!....
Lachlan’s team has since been inducted into the Colleges ‘Hall of Fame’ and they have received their Championship rings.
He will be returning home to Australia in a few weeks for the Summer break and will be able to play for half a season with the Camden Haven Redbacks in the Football Mid North Coast Premier League.