Westminster Griffin Aaron Rees fights an opponent for control of the ball. The Griffins play an exhibition game versus Western Slope Premier and an exhibition game against Colorado Mesa University on Saturday, April 18 at Grand County High School. [Photo courtesy of Westminster College Athletics]

The Grand County High School Red Devils soccer teams and Moab City Recreation have teamed up to arrange two days of Colorado Mesa University soccer clinics, followed by a pair of exhibition games to benefit the high school soccer teams.

On Saturday, April 18, Westminster College will play a pair of exhibition games at the Grand County High School soccer pitch, the first of which will be at 10:30 a.m. against Western Slope Premier, a U16 club team. Following that matchup, the Griffins will play the Colorado Mesa Mavericks at 4 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, and students get in free with their identification cards.

On Friday, April 17, the Mavericks will will host clinics at the Center Street Ballpark for U12-14 travel teams with check-in and registration at 4 p.m., followed by a team-tactics training session from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., and a “chalk talk” with CMU players and coaches from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. Registration costs $15 in advance of the clinic and $20 the day of the clinic. Online registration at CMUmavericks.com/camps closes on Wednesday, April 15.

The Mavericks will host a clinic the following morning at the ballpark for any player age 4 to 15. This clinic will focus on individual technique and fundamentals. Players age 4 to 9 will be coached from 10 to 11:30 a.m., while players age 10 to 15 will receive instruction from noon to 2 p.m. Registration costs $20 in advance and $25 on the day of the clinic. Online registration at CMUmavericks.com/camps closes on Wednesday, April 15.

During or following each clinic, Maverick players and coaches will talk about college soccer and the commitment it requires.

“Players and parents from all clinics will have a chance to learn from the CMU players what it is like to play at the college level and the required commitment to get there,” Moab City Recreation Director Chad Wright said in a press release. “Following the on-field instruction, CMU coaches and players will be happy to field any questions about soccer, including how to navigate the recruiting process.”

Wright said the recreation department and high school have been working for several months to bring this event together.

“We’re thrilled to have this level of soccer in our community,” he said. “We’ve been working to give kids in our community an opportunity to see another level of soccer” and be inspired to be as good as they can be at the sport.

Red Devil senior Koby Sobremesana recently navigated the recruiting process, signing on to play for the Griffins next season. He said he was recruited by a few schools and chose Westminster for its proximity and academic reputation after he sent an email to Westminster head coach Chris Dorich with his statistics, grades and game schedule.

“My mom’s so excited,” he said. “She has already planned out her schedule for next year so she can come watch all my games.”

Sobremesana said he was aided in getting a chance to play college soccer by playing on club teams, such as Western Slope Premier, of which he is currently a member. Ironically, Western Slope Premier is coached by CMU assistant coach Cole Sweetser.

“The good thing about club soccer is that there are no restrictions,” Sobremesana said. “You can go anywhere and play anyone in your age group. I’ve played in tournaments in Denver and Las Vegas.”

Sobremesana also said he likes that with club soccer, he gets to play soccer all year long.

Of the upcoming clinics and exhibitions, Sobremesana said he is excited, especially for younger players.

“It’s awesome,” he said. “It’ll influence the younger players a lot to see college soccer being played in Moab. Five years ago, that never would have been possible.”

A person Sobremesana said has been instrumental in increasing soccer’s popularity in Moab is his current high school coach, Mick Dunlavey.

“I think (Dunlavey) has played a huge part in making soccer more popular in Moab,” Sobremesana said. “He loves the game and is passionate about it. He’s always making coaching videos or organizing pick-up games, and he gets the word out about it.”

CMU Mavericks to face Westminster Griffins at GCHS on April 18

What: Colorado Mesa University college soccer clinics and exhibitions

When: Saturday, April 18

Westminster College versus Western Slope Premier, 10:30 a.m.

Colorado Mesa University versus Westminster College, 4 p.m.

Where: Grand County High School soccer pitch, 608 S. 400 East

Cost: $5 for adults. Students get in free with ID