Holly Stam, an eighth grader at Waring School, has been invited to take part in the U14 National Team training camp in Portland, Oregon on June 1-8. The Ipswich resident has played club soccer with Aztec since she was on the U11 team.
Stam is one of 48 elite players including five goalkeepers invited to the camp. The girls will stay in dorms and work with Youth National Team coach April Kater and other members of the U.S. soccer coaching staff. Stam was identified as one of the top players in the country in her age group and received a letter from Whitney Stipetich, director of soccer operations at the University of Portland.
The philosophy of identifying talent has been changed and the focus is more on the grassroots level now. Instead of one large camp for a hundred players this year there will be three, including another in Florida later this summer and one in California in November where 36 top players will be evaluated.
Last fall Stam, who is coached by Costas Flessas and Dushawne “Doc” Simpson at Aztec, won the starting goalie job for the Waring varsity and led her team to a 14-0 record and the IGC league championship.
“Holly had a remarkable season, and she will be a major part of our team this coming fall, no question,” said Waring head coach Eric Slack, who is also an instructor in the Aztec program. “She has many of the qualities that make a great goalkeeper. Her height is a physical asset, and psychologically she has no fear. She is willing to put her body on the line to make the big save.”
Stam is a three sport athlete, who also plays varsity basketball and lacrosse for the Mavericks. She plays low post in basketball and can be found anywhere coach Ambrose Devaney needs her on the lacrosse field, except for goalie.