“It was exciting to have Shakeem on the same U17 team because we have competing with each other for the past year with Darlington School Soccer Academy,” said Minors, who has played soccer for 12 years. “We understand each other’s game and the combinations we have together are excellent.”
According to a press release, Minors has competed at the national level since the age of 13, when he was first selected to represent Bermuda on the U14 team. During his most recent appearance with the U17 team, he was a designated starter and even scored a goal in a World Cup Qualifier. Minors will also join the Bermuda U20 team as they compete against Guadalupe, Haiti, and Antigua and Barbuda later this month.
Minors and Albouy are only two of 18 Darlington School Soccer Academy members who have played at the national team or U.S. Soccer’s regional team level.
“Training for the national competitions is strict and the sessions are intense, but Darlington’s Soccer Academy has prepared me for these experiences both mentally and physically,” Minors said. “Soccer Academy Coach Chad Liddle moved me up to the U19 team this past year, which has prepared me to play at a much higher level of competition.”
But it’s not just young men who are being tapped to represent their countries on the soccer field. Sophomore Jane Campbell is one of four girls’ Soccer Academy players currently competing at the national level, representing the U.S. on the U15, U16, U17 national teams. Last month, she competed with the U17 team in Miami, playing Nigeria and South Korea.
“It has always been one of my dreams to play for the U.S. and I hope I will keep on getting called back in the future,” said the 15-year-old keeper, who will compete with the team again in November. “When I stepped onto the field with the national team for the first time, it felt unreal. I’m not going to lie, I was super nervous, but the way every girl bonds with one another at camp makes you feel like you’re playing with some of your closest friends.
“When I was little, I used to tell my dad that I wanted to play on the national team and to actually be doing it is just incredible,” Campbell continued. “It is quite an experience to play against other country’s national team when you are 14 and 15 years old. Our coaches at camp always tell us, that it’s an honor to wear that crest on your chest, so we should represent the U.S. as best as we can, and that’s exactly what I’m doing.”
Campbell, who has been playing at the national level over a year, also competes with the club team Concorde Fire South. Her early success in the sport has inspired her to set some very lofty goals for herself, and at the rate she is going anything is possible.
“I hope to get called into every national team camp there is, to be the starting keeper for the U17 World Cup in two years, play Division I soccer and start all four years, be the starting keeper for the full women’s national team during the Olympics, and eventually win a gold medal,” she said.
Other current students playing at the national and regional levels include sophomore Harold Antor for the Bahamian U17 national team; junior Enrique Bello for the Venezuelan U17 and U18 national team; senior Michael Bellot for the Bahamian U18, U20, and full men’s national team; junior Ashley Borde for the Cayman U17 women’s national team; senior Shannon Burchall for the Bermuda U16 and U18 national team; junior Michael Butler for the Bahamian U17 national team; junior Joe DeLoach for the U.S. Region III player pool; Stefan Dill (’10) for the Bermuda U18 and U20 national team; junior Myles Englis for the U.S. Region III player pool; junior Na’eem Griffith for the Bermuda U16 and U18 national team; sophomore Celina Kassam for the Canadian regional team; junior Brandyn Murray for the Cayman U17 national team pool; senior Kheerson Simmons for the Bahamian U17 and U18 national pool; junior Robert Somner for the Jamaican U17 national pool; sophomore Allison Wetherington for the U.S. U16 national team pool; and senior Armando Zapata for the Venezuelan U17 and U18 national team.