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Youth play and learn
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Gonzalo Antillon Sr. snapped pictures while his wife Irene Clemente cheered from nearby as their three-year-old son successfully completed a dribbling drill.

Gonzalo Jr. was among the 13 participants at the Challenger British Soccer Camp.

Hosted by the city of Ceres, the five-day clinic was staged June 11-15 at Ceres River Bluff Regional Park.

"My wife found out about the program on the Internet," said Gonzalo Sr., who resides in Gustine with his family. "It's a lot of fun. Before, he used to be real shy. These games have been helping him a lot. He gets to socialize with more kids."

Gonzalo Jr. will join the Los Banos Youth Soccer program for the first time this September.

"He's been playing soccer since 17 months," Clemente said. "He started with indoor in Livermore. I'm a soccer mom and his chauffeur."

Tom Measham, a 22-year-old college student from England, provided instruction.

Emphasis was placed upon individual skill development and fundamental tactical awareness through a mix of participation, practices and games.

Measham focused on dribbling, passing, shooting, heading and defending.

"This is my first of eight camps this summer," Measham said. "I get to travel the States and get some valuable experience. I've been coaching since I was 16."

Gonzalo Jr. and Ceres' Bo Moring (4) attended the British Challenger Half-Day Camp. Each session lasted 90 minutes (9-10:30 a.m.). Cost was $98.

Ceres' Noah Scarbrough (10), Jose Carranza Jr. (7), Alexander Colunga (6) and Danika Brar (6), Modesto's Jay Gomes (11), Carli Gomes (11), Matthew Soares (11), Hannah Elms (9) and Cesar Pacheco (8), and Oakdale's Brayden Farris (10) and Trevor Farris (6) signed up for the Mini-Soccer Camp. Each session started at 9 a.m. and ended at 12 p.m. Cost was $135.

"They did brilliant," Measham said. "All of them have showed they can play soccer. They got rid of some of my preconceptions."

The city of Ceres and Challenger British Soccer Camp partnered for the first time six years ago.

"The purpose of the camp is to make the kids better,' Measham said. "It's a good program."

"I'm hoping to get a better turnout next summer," said Traci Farris, Ceres recreation supervisor. "I think it's definitely worth the price. Both of my sons love it."