Three Lakeside High School varsity soccer players, Kaytee Candela, Jake Cimorelli and Logan Stowell traveled to Sterling, Scotland to play in the Loch Lomond Soccer Festival.
The soccer trio played for The Claymores Soccer Club which is a premier club soccer league out of the Spire Institute. All three players have been on the team since junior high.
“I tried out for the experience and to play a higher level of soccer,” Kaytee Candela said on why she originally tried out for the team.
“I want to play soccer in college, so I knew it would be a beneficial thing to do,” Jake Cimorelli said on trying out for the team.
“I had been playing club soccer in Erie for a few years but I also wanted to play competitively closer to home.It’s been a great experience all around,” Logan Stowell said on playing for Claymores.
All three of the players were excited when they found out they had the opportunity to play overseas in Scotland.”I was pretty excited. It would be my first time overseas, so that added to the excitement,” Stowell said on learning about his chance to go to Scotland.
“We were really pumped to go on the trip, so the fundraising was something we didn’t mind doing,” Cimorelli said. “We knew the hard work would benefit us personally and our team as a whole.”
The three players participated in spaghetti dinners, raffles and auctions. They also did a lot of yard work for family and friends to help raise money.
“I was excited, but nervous because I didn’t know who I would play for,” Candela said on how she felt when she realized she was going to Scotland. She was not permitted to play with her boys team, so she played for the Girls Brazilian team Club Athletico Paranaense.
“The girls were really nice and we laughed a lot because they spoke Portuguese and I didn’t,” Candela said.
Stowell and Cimorelli were able to play with the rest of the Claymore team in their games.
While playing in Scotland, the three Lakeside soccer players noticed different styles of play.
“The competition was more physical and it was more competitive,” Candela said. “The experience was amazing!”
“The soccer was a lot different because it was faster, quicker and there was more passing,” Stowell said. “The kids were stronger.”
All three players agreed that the experience helped their own game.
“It definitely helped our game,” Stowell said. “When you compete against players like that, you naturally work harder.You also learn.”
“I think it helped me improve a lot because it made me tougher coming out to get the ball and it made me come out stronger and more aggressively,” Cimorelli said.
The Claymore team played in six games while in Scotland and two of them were against professional teams. Claymore was able to beat one of the teams they faced called Celtic.
Candela played in a total of four games, winning twice with her Brazilian team.
The trio of players also got to experience some site seeing while in Scotland.
One of their favorite parts was seeing the Royal Edinburg Military Tattoo. The Royal Military Tattoo is a ceremonial form of entertainment which incorporates drums and bagpipes along with other military displays.