The Corbin-Whitley County area has presented Neel Patel and Trey Cima with many great opportunities in the sport of soccer, and this summer they are teaming up to give back with a new venture they are calling Topflite Soccer Training.
Patel is a former Whitley County Colonel and Corbin Redhound. He was named to the All-State Team in 2018 before going on play collegiately as a Berea Mountaineer. He is currently in the process of transferring to the University of Louisville.
Cima is the son of longtime Corbin Redhounds soccer head coach Armando Cima. He was named to the All-State team as a Hound in 2017 and 2018, and he is a current member of the University of the Cumberlands’ men’s soccer team.
Patel explained what he and Cima are trying to accomplish with Topflite by saying, “We are offering private soccer lessons. We definitely want to expand in the future, but right now we are focusing on the Corbin and Williamsburg areas.”
“Lessons are open to all ages at $10 a week,” Patel continued. “That is a lot cheaper than most soccer lessons. Participants will get two hours of instruction per week that can be split up into 1-hour sessions across two days, or four half-hour sessions. It’s up to them. The main focus is to give high-quality training from experienced coaches at an affordable price.”
Patel said that he and Cima are planning to take the money raised this summer and recycle it back into the program in order to help it grow, hoping to eventually be able to offer items such as t-shirts, balls or other equipment. If year one is any indicator, the future is already looking bright for Topflite.
“We’re pretty evenly split between boys and girls,” Patel said of the participants that he and Cima have seen so far. “Our oldest player was 17, and our youngest was six, so we’re seeing all age groups.”
Patel has been based primarily at the Whitley County High School soccer complex in recent weeks, while Cima has been conducting sessions at the TCYSA fields next to the Corbin Civic Center. Coaches are being mindful of current COVID-19 restrictions, wearing masks while instructing, and no-contact rules are still in effect.
Patel did mention, however, that rules pertaining athletics in our state are now at the phase where the passing of balls will be permitted. “We are adjusting our training methods in order to incorporate that into the lessons moving forward,” he said.
Topflite Soccer Training will remain in operation until mid-August, and the plan is to move lessons indoors at some point this winter. For more information, call 606-344-3535.