The echoes inside the former U.S. National Guard Armory building were too few and the court too empty for Mick Havrilla's liking during the first two nights of the TetraBrazil soccer camp.
"I'm a little disappointed in our turnout," he said. "But there are a lot of things going on right now and this is a new thing, too."
Six soccer players were at the camp Wednesday night, including Havrilla, who coaches the boys team at Moffat County High School, and Daniel Silva, the TetraBrazil coach.
"I was really struggling with it after the first night," Havrilla said. "But then I remembered that 15 or 20 years ago our summer camps in Craig started with a poor turnout and now they're great."
The initial purpose for bringing the soccer academy to Craig for two weeks was to help the Moffat County High School girls soccer team get ready for its season. If that's the case then it isn't completely unsuccessful.
Twelve members of the team are expected to come throughout the next two weeks to learn from Silva.
"In Brazil soccer is a way of life," he said. "So we've come to America to teach about our style of soccer and at the same time, our country."
Silva said that Brazilian futbol is quicker and more stylish than North American soccer. Hugo Quezada, a Moffat County junior, concurred after playing against the clinician.
"He hardly touches the ball but still moves very quickly with it," he said. "It's fun to watch and hard to guard."
Silva has an A-license to coach, which means he is qualified to coach at the professional level. He has lived in America for five years after coming to get his college degree. He couldn't play soccer in college because he had played semipro in Brazil as a teenager.
While his time in America has prepared him for the colder winters, he said that not many other coaches from TetraBrazil will come up to teach indoor soccer skill.
"The only two (Brazilian) coaches up here now are American college graduates," he said. "Nobody else wants to try it in the winter."
The clinic works on skills for a sport call "futsol." It is soccer with a smaller ball and a much smaller court, which has helped develop the Brazilian style of play.
"When you have less room you have to be able to control the ball," he said. "Futsol can only help you get better when you get outside."
Because of Colorado High School Activities Association rules, the girls team can't work as a team under the supervision of their coach. So this clinic will be mostly focused on individual skills.
"This can help all of the teams at any age though," said Havrilla, who is an assistant girls coach. "So we invite everybody out to come and play at a prorated rate."
Quezada signed up so he could keep his soccer skills fresh.
"I'm always trying to play soccer," he said. "This was another opportunity."
The remaining camps are tonight from 4-6 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. and next week Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights from the same times.
David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org