Pictured, are some of the Rc3 players who are participating in the Olympic Development Program (ODP). From left to right, are Director of Coaching, Zach Daily, Andrew Morgan, Michael Truax, Bekah Horton, Cammie Ruehling, Laurel Butt and Sarah Horton.  Not present are Sean Norman, Brandon Bishop, Caleb Toliver and AG Fraley.

(Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020 edition)

For the first time ever, Rhea County Community Center (Rc3) select soccer players are participating in the Olympic Development Program (ODP). This program, which is run at both the state and national levels, helps to identify and develop players who could play with the US National men’s and women’s soccer team. All of this to help the United States be more competitive on the world stage in soccer.

Tryouts were held this fall across the state of Tennessee. Ten players from RC3 were selected to participate at the state level. Rc3 Director of coaching, Zach Daily, said “this is a significant accomplishment for our players and for our program and it shows that our coaches are doing the right things to help develop players. It also shows how committed our players are to improving themselves.”

ODP works in levels. The first level is the state pool, where the Rc3 players are now.  These players are trained with others in their age group by college level coaches. Players are evaluated during each session and a smaller state team is selected to play against other state teams in our region. During regional play, players are again evaluated and selected to play at the national level. Our national team players will play against other countries during the summer.  

Once players are selected, they stay in the state pool for one year. Players do have to tryout each year and there are no guarantees even if you were previously on the team.

RC3 players will travel to Murfreesboro this weekend (Dec. 19-20) where they will train all day Saturday or Sunday. This will be the final training before the state team is selected to participate in regional competition.

“We are very excited for all of our players who have made it this far and wish them all the best of luck,” said Rc3 President, Chris Horton. “Our league and our players have continued to improve and it is great to see that they are now competitive with the best in the state.”