Take 5 with Andrea Rosenthal of High Country Soccer
Special to the Daily
High Country Soccer fall youth league
What: A recreational soccer league open Summit County residents, from 4-year-olds to fifth graders (10-11 years old)
When: August to October
Cost: $75 to $90 per child, based on age
Late registration for the youth fall league closes Aug. 7 at midnight and includes a $10 late fee. Practices begin Aug. 17 and the program runs for eight weeks. For more info, or to join the HCSA mailing list, email email@example.com or see www.eteamz.com/HighCountrySoccer.
Summit County is home to some of the best athletes in the state and the country. Some are locals who have grown up here their whole lives, while others are transplants from across the nation and world.
The biggest thing many of them have in common is the allure of Summit County. It’s a destination to enhance their training and bring them closer to other athletes, and they regularly give back by fostering a love for their sport in the next generation of athletes.
Andrea Rosenthal is one of those athletes. In July, she was named as the new executive director of High Country Soccer Association.
She’s originally from Albany, New York and played collegiate soccer for William Smith College in western New York.
Following her education, she moved to Colorado, where she has spent the better part of the last eight years working as both a ski instructor and as a manager for Downstairs at Eric’s in Breckenridge, broken up by a two-year stint in Minnesota as assistant coach for the women’s soccer program at Gustavus Adolphus College.
Now, she’s back in Summit and ready to lead the association.
The Summit Daily News sports desk had an opportunity to sit down with her to talk about her college career, her vision for High Country Soccer and why soccer is perfect cross-training for just about any sport.
Summit Daily News: Tell us about yourself. What brought you to Summit?
Andrea Rosenthal: Well, I grew up in upstate New York and went to William Smith College, where I played college soccer; but, after college and graduating with a major in architecture studio art, I really needed to ski and wound up in Breckenridge. I worked as a ski instructor at first and then began working for Eric and Ian at Modis, as well as the Breck Rec Center as a camp counselor. For two years, I went to work as the assistant women’s soccer coach at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota but kept finding myself drawn back to the mountains because I am in love with Summit County, the community and the culture here. When the High Country Soccer executive director position opened up, it seemed like the ideal position for me.
SDN: What is the current status of High Country Soccer? Strengths? Weaknesses?
AR: It is really a broad-reaching program — from year-round adult leagues to year-round youth leagues — and our biggest draw: the fall recreation youth soccer leagues. We hope to have about 450 kids in the program for the fall and are always seeking to expand. High Country Soccer Association is strong, with great community involvement from our dedicated volunteer coaches, sponsors and the athletes (who) grow up here in Summit County.
SDN: You’re from the East Coast and spent time coaching in Minnesota. What did you learn there that you want to apply to High Country Soccer?
AR: Every area of the country really has its own style. For example, back east, the game tends to be played with more finesse and technique, whereas in the Midwest, it is highlighted with athletic and sometimes physical play. Since Summit County tends to be a melting pot — being that it is a destination for so many people — I think it lends itself well to adapting pieces from many different styles to really create a unique game that you don’t see everywhere else. I want to use our community resources, teach kids to combine elements from as many different areas as possible.
SDN: We often hear about soccer being a great cross-training sport for other sports. Are you looking to network with other organizations as well?
AR: “ Absolutely! Having just moved into this role, it is really important to me to minimize conflicts and attempt to work with other youth organizations to the best of my ability, since cross-training is so vital to developing well-rounded athletes — not just soccer players. It is important to me for the kids to be involved with as many organizations as possible. That may mean working with other organization to schedule non-conflicting practices or working with other directors to maximize involvement in multiple sports. It’s a new challenge, but I am very excited.
SDN: Where do you see High Country Soccer going in the near future?
AR: We really want to continue to grow the current programs we have and look to expand in the future. We will see if there are other community needs that have yet to be filled and want to help meet those potential needs. We have some great partnerships with Challenger Sports and Tetra Brazil, who have brought some fantastic summer camps here, and we want to continue those partnerships. But, really, the main goal at the current moment is to maximize participation in the fall recreational youth soccer league.
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