Thursday, September 25, 2008

Soccer Season

I love watching little kids play soccer.  Yesterday I found myself torn between the 3rd/4th grade game and the 5th/6th grade game.  The 5th and 6th graders play with a lot of heart, if not much accuracy.  A big 5th grader chested the ball and the smile didn't leave his face for the rest of the game.  It didn't matter his team didn't win, he'd done his part.  Don't get me wrong, these kids get plenty down when they don't win.  But there is pride in accomplishment as well as winning.

The 3rd and 4th graders a more of a mixed bag.  One or two of the team members play like the dickens.  Racing up and down the field, playing all positions at once.  Putting their bodies on the line.  The rest are luke-warm.  Dancing on the field or calling out messages to their parents.  One little 8-year-old seemed quite surprised when the ball came to her.  She was facing the right way and could have easily kicked it back up the field.  But no.  She swiveled her body around the ball and ran it deliberately right off the side lines.  The road of least resistance I guess.  At least she didn't turn all the way around and put it in her own goal.

Today I watched a Varsity Game.  Our team is made up of 9th through 12th graders - we don't have enough girls for a junior varsity team.  These young women amaze me.  They play with a ferocity and determination that is awesome to see.  We haul injured players out of every game, not because the coach is pushing them irresponsibly, but because they are determined to give back whatever the opposing team throws at them.  And there are some tough girls here in Vermont.

The Autumn is more beautiful each day.  I think it's been 12 years since I've seen Vermont show off like this.  Every day I drive down the road and curse myself for not bringing my camera.  Maybe I'll remember tomorrow…