Tonight, my older daughter is playing in her first Varsity Regional Playoff Tournament. The league she currently plays in competes against Christian and Catholic schools who are unable to play against public school teams. They won their division outright, and tonight are in the semi-finals game to determine who will play in the Regional Championship tomorrow night.
It’s Throwback Thursday, so here’s a piece from back in 2007, when her homeschool rec league had a championship game on a hot June evening. That league was co-ed, and it didn’t follow the rules of soccer very strictly. (For example, games could end in a tie without kick-offs or overtime.) The original post was on my old Blogspot site, and the photos are lost, so I’ve added a gallery of pictures that are from the awards dinner at the end of the season.
Big Girl had her championship game for soccer last Friday. We arrived at the field and nervously eyed the approaching storm clouds. The way weather works around here, the clouds would do one of a few things. They might blow past us, passing over us without dropping much, if any, rain. They might also stay away from us, hovering in the distance instead of getting closer. They might also be blown around us, raining on places other than our little soccer fields.
Or, as they did Friday evening, they might come right for us, drop rain on us, and make us sit in our cars for 15 minutes during half-time.
But I’m getting ahead of myself here.
The heat and humidity were oppressive. It was close to 90, and the storm clouds in the distance were more proof that the air was full of moisture. The soccer teams who were waiting to play their championship games all drank plenty of fluids to premptively combat dehydration. As they waited for the game to begin, Wondercoach told the children that she was proud of them. They had the best defense in the league. They had the best record in the league, beating the second-place team (who was also 4-1-1) on points scored. They had worked hard to be in this game. She assigned a couple of children to specific others for defense purposes.
Then it was game time. Both teams gathered in the center of the field for the usual pre-game prayer. Then they all stood up and the game was begun.
The first half was very energetic! Both teams ran up and down the field and got close to scoring. If the defense was penetrated, the goalies managed to stop the other team from scoring. Our goalie, who is the youngest player on our team(!), stopped a couple of shots from going in. Finally, it was half-time. The players all came to the sidelines for a mid-game snack and pep talk. Big Girl was in for the entire first half, and would be in for the entire second half, too. Everyone was excited, and the momentum seemed to be in our favor.
Suddenly, the rain clouds were overhead, and drops of rain started to fall. Both teams, neither willing to drop the game, started for the field. But thunder sounded, and all players, coaches, and parents were banished to their cars. “Wait 15 minutes in your car and we’ll see if we can start again!” called out Wondercoach’s husband, who runs the league.
After about ten minutes or so, the rain started to let up, and the teams took to the field for the second half after what amounted to a 15 minute break.
Though our team’s momentum had been broken, they still held on and prevented the other team from scoring at all during the second half. The game was reaching a fevered pitch when the referee blew his whistle.
And that was it. Though most of the parents found it a bit anti-climactic, the children all rejoiced. No one lost. Big Girl maintains that being co-champion is just as good as being champion all by herself because, as she put it, “It felt like I was champion with my friends because everyone was congratulating us, even on the older team.” Besides, a few of her friends are on the opposing team. It’s nice not to have your friends feel badly at the end of the game.
Hubby handed out the bracelets he got for the team, though in typical male fashion, he made no speech about it. But the kids all thanked him for it. Since I forgot my camera, I’ll have to take pictures of the children’s wrists with the bracelets on at the awards banquet which will be later this month.
Wondercoach let the children all know that they will each get medals hung around their necks at the banquet, too. She makes the moment they receive their trophies special every year by saying kind words about each child, but this year will be extra special.
This year, they are champions.