Stuck Like Glue

By , Easton, MA
It started way back in May: timed mile, 40 yard dash, pushups, agility. Summer workouts twice a week with Bulman in the stifling, sticky air until camp in mid-August. Then goalkeeper training once a week with Scott, and a practice once a week with captains.

Preseason starts. Double sessions seize your body, draining lactic acid during breaks and baking in the sun.  Countless touch-em-alls, Hugos, scrimmages.  ”6, 18. Midway. 18, 6, 18.” When will it end? Can we stop?

The answer is no. You can’t.  Every extra step taken now will add up to luck later on in the season.  So the question is, do you really want to stop?  You’ll regret not putting in that effort when the game is on the line in second round of sudden death or you’re facing Feehan, Canton, Whitman-Hanson—your toughest opponents.  Get on the line and suck it up.

Then pasta dinners come.  Chicken parm, caesar salad, lasagna, brownie sundaes.  The house is decorated, the Gatorades are cold, and you’re starving.  Starving from practice and for that next-day win, and happy to be with your second family.  Inside jokes, bonds made, friendships formed.  Memories that last forever.

Game day’s here. One lucky player gets to wear the Juicy J as good luck. Has it ever been washed? No, but we’re superstitious beyond belief, so stick it out for six hours.  Pre-game talks in the team room with Britt. His little doodles mark up the board, you chit chat, and exit.  Alexis, Mal and Tina call out: “KILL!” You say: “FRANKLIN!” “KILL!” “FRANKLIN!” “KILL!” “FRANKLIN!”  Marching onto the field, two by two, Bring ‘Em Out plays as you begin your warm-up. You’re getting pumped, the other team’s intimidated: they’re playing OA.

The ref blows the whistle, you’re about to take the field. “Wait!”—good luck handshakes and foot routines with your teammates.  Britt: “Alright ladies, who’s gonna win today?” “WE ARE! 1, 2, 3, TOGETHER!” “HERE WE GO, GIRLS!” “Intensity!” “FIRST FIVE, LADIES!”  As soon as the half starts, it’s over.  Halftime huddle: “What do we want? INTENSITY! When do we want it? NOW! What do we want? VICTORY! When do we want it? NOW! Where are we from? OLIVER AMES! Who’s gonna win today? WE ARE! 1, 2, 3, TOGETHER!” You finish with a win.  

The bus rides home after wins are the best.  Cheering as you approach school grounds again: “OA, OAOAOA, OA, OAAAA!” Lexi and Pam’s Flip cams catch the action and reactions. You sing John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmitt at the top of your lungs.  You’re breathing OA Soccer.

Tournament season comes: practices get shorter, more fun.  Games are closer together.  The taste of your first postseason victory is incredibly sweet: 3-2 against Falmouth.  Follow that by a 5-0 victory over Needham, then the most amazing of all to qualify for South Sectionals against your rival Bishop Feehan. Kendall’s 1-0 OT goal sends you off.  

South Sectional victory over Whitman-Hanson: 3-2.

We fell short tonight against Peabody, in overtime. 1-0 because of Hayley and the other forward.  Good job to her, but we’re a closer team. We’re the better team. We wanted it more.

OA SOCCER 2011 FOREVER IN OUR HEARTS <3





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