UPDATE ON Jaimel Johnson

Ervin keeps up the great work on his soccer coverage. If you are a soccer player or know of one who is doing something special, let Ervin know.

Jaimel Johnson, a junior at Dayton's Chaminade-Julienne High School, recently attended the U.S. National Team Training in Carson California. Sponsored by Nike and Philips, this prestigious, invitation-only event assembled the top U-17 and U-19 soccer players from across the country.

Jaimel, a goalkeeper, who plays club soccer for  Dayton Soccer Academy (coached by Greg Sheen), has been widely considered one of the best keepers in the country and whose talents are being sought by many top programs. OPS sat down with Jaimel and her family and asked her about her experience.

Jaimel told OPS that this was the highlight of her soccer career thus far. The training took place at the Home Depot Center where the U.S. Women's team look to compete in the finals of the 2003 Women's World Cup. "We were treated extremely well!", exclaimed Jaimel. "To utilize the same locker rooms as the World Cup players and to train at the same facility was awesome". The training was done by Arizona State coach Ray Leone, his wife Tracey Leone, current U-19 National Team coach, and GK training by Scott Calabrese of the Carolina Courage. Asked what was the best aspect of the training Jaimel replied "Definitely the level of competition". "EVERYONE was VERY good and to train and compete against that level of competition is what made the event special to me".

Jaimel attends C-J, but chose not to compete at the high school level and instead train with DSA, one of the country's premiere soccer programs. OPS asked what went into her decision to skip high school. Jaimel stated that one of her goals was to compete at the highest level and she believes that the club experience helps her to better achieve that goal, primarily  by continuing the intense, high level training and competition that is critical  at this stage of her development.  When asked has her notoriety escaped her high school friends, she replied, "No, my classmates and former teammates have been really supportive". Jaimel, an outstanding student as well,  has a very impressive list of colleges currently pursuing her.


Next for Jaimel is the WAGS tournament in the D.C area next week.   Jaimel will be leaving DSA  (U18) Team at the end of the fall to join the Ohio Elite (U17)Soccer Club in Cincinnati where she will once again play within her own age group.   As the DSA team is a U18 team, the majority of these girls will be graduating in the spring.


This talented young lady has quite a future ahead of her on and off the field and OPS will keep you abreast of Jaimel's choice of college as well as the development of other talented Ohio prep stars.


OPS would also like to congratulate Andrea Crane of Bishop Fenwick and the Dayton Soccer Academy on her decision to attend Duke University.



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