Around Our Town...Casper's Cool Kids
02/01/2006 - by Tami Watts
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What goes through the mind of a goalee on a soccer field who wears his share of bruises and grass burns and has been kicked in the head more than once? Our featured "cool kid", Cameron Stanek, can tell you... "Save the ball!"
Cameron is so good at saving the ball that he has been selected as goalee for Wyoming's Olympic Development Program, (ODP). ODP gives Cameron the chance to be seen by the National Team Coaching Staff and Scouts. It could give him the opportunity to someday play on our country's National and Olympic Soccer Teams.
Recently Cameron played in Vegas with other selected soccer players from Wyoming towns such as Gillette, Jackson, Laramie, Cheyenne, Buffalo, Green River and Rock Springs. Though they didn't win any of their three games, they played well against very skilled teams. It was a good learning experience for Cameron. "I learned that the wind counts a lot in playing. The ball teeters more. It moves differently." At the time of the games, Vegas was experiencing 50+ mile an hour gusts of wind.
When asked how he became interested in soccer, Cameron responds with a grin, "When I was little I liked the goalee jersies." His dad, Chris Stanek, playfully pipes up, "It's Kevin Murphy's fault!" Kevin Murphy was Cameron's second soccer coach. Cameron's mom, Sheri Stanek, adds in the same playful tone, "It's Matt Howard's fault too!" Matt Howard was Cameron's first coach. "He (Mr. Howard) taught me the basics of playing goalee. He has given me a lot of support," relates Cameron quietly.
Cameron has been in soccer for about seven years. He can't picture life without it. Cameron also plays for the Blades, Casper's traveling soccer team. In the past three years, Cameron's two Blades coaches, Wendall Montgomery and Brian Livingston, have helped him become "The Wall" — Cameron's well suited nickname on the field. Blades has provided him a vital "stepping stone" to becoming a part of ODP.
This fine goalee has a goal. "When I get into ninth grade, I want to be the varsity goalee for Kelly Walsh." With his skill, the experience he is gleaning, and the great support from his family and other Casper supporters, Cameron is on his way to achieving it.
Cameron is a thirteen-year-old seventh grader at Centennial JHS. When he is not in school or on the soccer field, he enjoys other activities such a snowboarding on Casper Mountain. "I try to go on the mountain as much as I can," he interjects between his mom's and dad's bubbly comments.
Not only are Cameron's parents proud of him, his two older brothers, Brendon (24) and Kevin (16) are proud of him too. "Cameron has no fear," notes Brendon. Kevin adds "He is a tough one. He can take a lot."
Cameron and his family demonstrate commitment. Chris has been working at Stalkup's RV Superstore for nearly twenty years. Sheri has been working at Peels' Beauty Supply for seven. She is the manager there.
Brendon has shown years of commitment to baseball. He has played on a semi-pro team affiliated with the Toronto Blue Jays. Kevin, a junior, played on the defensive line for Kelly Walsh's Varsity team. He has the appetite for it too! Just ask his mom about the box of ribs!
Part of what makes a community great are focused kids from loving and supportive families. Cameron and family, thank you for the ways you contribute to our great community.