New soccer-focused private high school to open in Mishawaka

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. – A private school geared toward soccer will open its doors to students in Fall 2021.

The International Soccer Academy of America will be where the old Pinnacle Atheltic Club used to be, near Edison and Main. Right now, the building is going through some renovations and should be complete by the end of summer.

The new private school focuses on soccer. The main goal is to give students the foundation they need to eventually play college or professional soccer. While also giving them the best education possible.

“If you’re not sure if your son or daughter is the best soccer player in the world, then it doesn’t hurt to tryout. so, it is not just about oh is my kid the best, or are they not the best, it’s about making them the best through our program,” International Soccer Academy of American President, Ethan Hunt said.

The Mishawaka native was inspired to open the school after writing his thesis paper during his masters. The school is geared towards high school students aged 14 to 18 and is open to both American and international students.

Hunt said to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus, the school won't go virtual, but. they’ll be capping enrollment to 100 students and their building is big enough to ensure everyone is socially distancing. Hunt said there will also be other safety measures in place.

“We have a wall thermometer, so every time the kids walk in they’ll be scanned with their temperature. But, that’s why we’re maxing the enrollment at 100. We’re always going to stay in-person, and if the students get the virus, they will be sent home. But, we’re not going to allow that to affect the students who don’t have the virus and affect their learning,” Hunt said.

Hunt said it’s important that the school is made available to everyone. For both low income and upper-income families.

Tours and open enrollment are going on now. You can check out the school's website here: https://www.isaa.us/our-mission

A soccer youth academy for kids ages 14 and younger will take place starting on Monday, Jan. 11. The 10-week camp focuses on developing student skills. During the program students will concentrate on dribbling, shooting, trapping, and goalkeeping as well as other soccer tactics.

“You gotta start them young. This is where they will develop their foundation of just the basics and as they get older, they’ll get a little bit more advanced, they’ll learn more skills,” James Ortega, the founder of Futboleros said.

Ortega said the youth academy is all about establishing the foundation for the sport. Students will play futsal, a soccer game designed to be played indoors in a gymnasium. This game is fast-paced and aims to improve soccer techniques-and decision-making skills. The classes are each an hour and a half long.

Ortega said this academy will help recruit potential students to the school.

“This is one of a kind school and academy. And we’re joining forces together and it’s going to be great for kids who love soccer. And eventually, if they want to take their game to the next level and whether it's playing college soccer or making it to the professionals. Everyone has a dream it starts here, and I’m happy to be apart of it,” Ortega said.

Over 50 kids are already registered and there are still spots open.

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