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The Mixed-Up Soccer Season

“Come on we’re going to be late!” I yelled as I rushed around getting ready for soccer practice. “We have an half an hour, that’s plenty of time,” my mom replied. “Alright, but we can’t be late, it’s the first practice.” I laced up my last cleat, and straightened my shorts. I was ready.

The drive to my church, where soccer practice was held, was a long one. I was worried about not being good enough for the team. I was excited about finally playing soccer, being part of a team. My stomach was churning, yet I was extremely happy. We pulled into the parking lot. By this time my stomach felt as though I had a thousand butterflies in it. I staggered out of the car, my legs feeling like jelly. As soon as I saw the field, my stomach dropped. It was larger than I remembered soccer fields being. I spotted my best friend who would also be playing on the team with me. I felt slightly better.

My friend and I were the first players there; the coach wasn’t even present yet. We half-heartedly kicked a soccer ball, back and forth, neither of us really paying much attention to the actual ball. As the rest of the team started arriving, it got a little better. They joined in on our passing the ball back and forth. Finally, the coach arrived. He was with his daughter who was actually on the team herself. We lined up for drills and laps around the field. The drills went on forever, or it had seemed. The coach told us to huddle up, in a big mass of sweaty bodies. “Okay team, those drills were okay, but let’s get on to the real deal, the scrimmage.”

Scrimmage. As the soccer season went on, I grew to hate that word. A scrimmage is technically a nice, casual, laid-back game of soccer. My coach thought otherwise. He barked at us about moving faster, kicking harder and staying with the ball. He ran us until we drooped from tiredness. Besides scrimmages being tiring, they were completely boring. We spilt the team in two, and for half the season we played ourselves. Scrimmages were the worst.

If I thought my nerves were bad for the first soccer practice, they were nothing compared to the first game nerves. The drive to Fortified Hills Baptist church, where the game was held was a long one. My palms sweated, my stomach churned, I chewed my lip raw. When we finally got there I was the first player there. The girls from the other team started to arrive. I remember thinking to myself that they looked much bigger than my team and stronger. The rest of my team arrived and we went out to the field for the long wait.

With the start of the referee’s whistle, we were off. I was on defense for the first half, so I kind of just stood off to the side. All in all the first half of the game went quite well, we were even winning! During half-time I sat on the sidelines, happily sipping my Gatorade. That was when everything started to go wrong. I went up to the coach right before the second half started, to ask what position I was going to play. I thought I’d be lucky to get offense or even defense again. “Hey Coach Joe, what position am I playing?” “Oh, you……..you’re playing goalie!” he said brightly. My stomach dropped 5 feet.

All in all that day was a memorable one. I lost the game for my team. The important part was that I tried. After that game, I played the rest of the season. I was proud of myself for sticking with it. I learned that sticking with it, sometimes can help you.



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