JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
GRANITE SHOALS — Five Granite Shoals youth soccer players passed the first tryouts for a spot on the 2014 South Texas Olympic Development Team.
Faustino Dominguez, Christian Ammons, Andrew Rodriguez, Matias Olivas and Gavino Tinajera earned an opportunity to compete at the 2014 Region 3 camp in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
“We’re preparing kids for the Olympic team,” Olympic Development Program coach Manolo Custodio said. “It’s really important to understand what we’re trying to do. (The program) is the best exposure.”
Last summer, Ammons and Dominguez went to the Region 3 competitive camp. Dominguez was invited to play on the Region 3 all-star team that competed in an inter-region tournament in Arizona last November. The only player selected from Texas for the team, Dominguez also will join the other players on a competitive tour of Guadalajara, Mexico, in April.
Custodio said college coaches see these players and some earn scholarships.
That’s why he emphasizes to his athletes the importance of good grades. ODP coaches sometimes ask for academic reports and may trim entry fees for good scholars, he said.
Custodio is a trainer for the Hill Country FC Soccer Club. Coaches include Eric Cardenas, Jay McHam and Clayton Patterson.
The club is taking registration for the spring for the junior clinic for children 8 and younger. Limited spots are available for boys on the 9-and-under, 10-and-under and 11-and-under competitive teams and for the 11-and-under girls squad. Go to www.hcasf.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.