Today’s the day! I cannot think of much other than soccer today, so that is what I’ll have to write about! Our Division 2 High School Soccer team is headed to the State Tournament later today. This is history in the making!
Five years ago, our soccer team barely won a match. It was discouraging and depressing. Soccer wasn’t followed or much talked about in the community.
But, there was a lot happening behind the scenes. A group of boys had been playing soccer for years, some of them for about as long as they could run and kick the ball! They just weren’t high school age, yet!
This group of boys, many with siblings slightly older also involved in soccer, kept working at their sport. They played on teams when they were small through the park and rec department in our town, through a newly formed local soccer organization, and eventually through travelling leagues, and teams all year-long. Some of these teams required the commitment of parents and grandparents to great travel distances in order to engage in the competition. State lines were crossed. Hotel rooms were paid for. Skills continued to be built.
During the winter, futsal was pursued on an indoor field, as the community resources caught up with the growing interests and needs of more and more quality soccer players. Commitment to a sport and to a team developed. All for one and one for all became their motto, and mantra. Trust and confidence was built through outstanding coaching, a growth mind-set, camaraderie, and hard work. The young soccer players had reached high school…..finally!
Last year was a great year for our soccer team! Under direction from a new coach, and positive psychology, they made it to sectionals after winning the local conference title for the first time ever! It was exciting!
This year built on the success of last. The team was gelling. I do not think it is something that can be taught, just fostered. It was visible on the field, and off. Friendships formed, trust in each to do their “job” and do it well – for the sake of the team – had grown. They have been living their motto, “All for one and one for All.” As a parent of one of the team members, I am so proud of that!
Again, the conference title has been won this year. Sectionals were met with a sense of determination and drive. Again, success was secured. The team made history in winning the regional title for their division this past week!
Today, they go as a team to the state soccer tournament for the first time in their school’s history! Assuredly, they are the underdog. But, that’s a good thing! The team is deep in ability and cross-coverage of positions. It is an exciting day!!! The school is honoring this team, just as they’ve honored others going to state. Make no mistake, the success of this soccer team is related to hard work. They know what’s in front of them today, and know they need to play hard. And, they will, for they all know that is what has garnered them their success! Go Team!