Some high school coaches can't wait to get their one, mandatory summer camp out of the way. Gregg Tavani isn't on that list.
The longtime Duluth boys soccer coach followed his usual routine this year, squeezing in an early vacation so he can spend the rest of his summer on camps. This marks the 10th year that he and his family have operated Tavani Soccer Camps, the bulk of them at Duluth's Bunten Road Park.
"I definitely enjoy doing the camps," Tavani said. "We've been doing this a long time.
"It's not really work to me. It's all fun."
The Tavanis started the camp with modest hopes 10 years ago. The first session was a one-week deal and featured 50 campers. They now host five weeks of camps at three locations, with more than 350 campers per year.
They have trained more than 3,000 campers over the past decade.
"I love the game of soccer and I've really enjoyed working with kids, so that's why we started it," Tavani said. "I love seeing them improve their games. I had a lot of ideas from other camps I've been a part of that I wanted to use. It's definitely been a passion over the past 10 years and it's definitely a family venture."
Tavani is the camp director on a staff that includes his father Bert Tavani, his mother Elaine Tavani and his brother Michael Tavani. The Tavanis aim for improvements with the camps each year, and this summer they've added Campioni Camp (which focuses on team tactics and formations). They also have grown the Coppa Tavani, a yearly small-sided tournament that concludes the summer.
More information on the camps, which are open to boys and girls ages 7 to 15, can be found at www.tavanisoccer.com.
The upcoming camp dates in Duluth are Monday through Friday, July 9-13, July 16-20 and the July 21 Coppa Tavani.