Previously on Soccer Dad Chronicles: I enrolled Cydney into a soccer club in what would become her new school district in the fall of 2016. Playing with mostly kindergarteners, Cyd played very well when she felt like it, scoring at least one goal a game (and a not-so-great goalie). We collectively named our team the Orange Monsters and lived up to the name by wreaking havoc on the other five year olds.
Last Spring was my first experience head coaching. I loved that for once, Cydney and I weren’t the only people of color at the soccer field who weren’t working. I built a little rapport with a couple of the parents and one mother in particular…nothing has nor will it happen; but yeah.
Also, a post that I have written two years ago about Cydney playing soccer became a topic on Fox’s The Real in September. So now that I’ve caught you all up…Season 4!
At the end of the Spring season, I decided that I was going to move Cydney up to play with the first graders; even though she would be in kindergarten in the fall. A few weeks into September, the soccer sign-up sheet was placed in the children’s folders. I read the sheet. After kindergarten, the girls and boys are separated. I knew that Cydney would be a little relieved because she was getting tired of being one of the only girls.
I became a little apprehensive at the second thing I noticed. The first grade girls were being combined with the second graders. Cydney’s skillset is advanced enough to not only play-but excel-against second graders. At five, I was wary of her being fast enough to keep up with seven year olds. I spoke to Cydney’s former coach, Coach Eddie, and asked whether or not I should move Cyd up. Without hesitation, Coach Eddie said she can definitely handle that. So I did.
After registration, there was a coach’s meeting. I looked at my call sheet for my fall roster to see if I had any of my children from last season. Two of the girls from my Orange Monsters would be joining me on my burgundy squad.
Looking at my list of girls, I couldn’t help but snicker. The daughter of Fly Soccer Mom would be on the team and I would have to call her to inform when we would be getting started. With my life being a revolving door of irony and drama…I knew this would happen. I jokingly told a friend of mine “Watch Fly Soccer Mom’s child be on my team.” I either need to 1) Stop jokingly claim things into existence or 2) Jokingly claim four lottery numbers.
I showed up to the field on October 1 a half hour early to hand out uniforms and meet my girls and their parents. I also recruited Cydney’s cousin, Keyanna to play. Keyanna is seven months older than Cydney and played together with Coach Eddie. Keyanna’s father and I are second cousins and very close; so I love the idea of our daughters being just as tight.
I introduced myself to the children and their parents as they funneled in, Fly Soccer Mom was not in attendance. Her friend that I met last June was there for in her place because Fly Soccer Mom’s older daughter was playing on a competitive travel team. While on the phone, Fly Soccer Friend knew I was the coach and I found that a little peculiar. Fly Soccer Friend relayed the message that she couldn’t make it and asking when I would be holding practices. I answered questions and it was then time to play ball.
Because of limited enrollment, there are only two teams of first and second grade girls. As opposed to a rotation, there will be a seven-week rivalry of the green team vs. burgundy. We were beginning to get our asses handed to us. The lime team didn’t have a coach; but they had a second grader that I jokingly told parents I knew from before “I think this girl drove here.” No lie, as soon as she got the ball the just blew past everyone and scored. I started thinking to myself “Maybe I should give this practice thing some thought.”
When our session ended, I asked the girls what we should name our squad. There was a few suggestions; but Cydney coined the name “Burgundy Dragons.” We voted and that was what we went with (that’s some alliteration!).
The Burgundy Dragons/Lime Green rivalry has been beyond one-sided. The Burgandy Dragons have been getting nothing short of slayed. Super Second Grader scored like four goals and only played about ten minutes. The Burgundy Dragons didn’t want to run at all. I had one girl who put in some work while everyone else walked around (and no…it wasn’t Cydney).
Cydney is nothing short of lethargic on the soccer field. She kills the instructional period or kick around a ball doing some fairly amazing shit (Like step around the ball with her right foot then side kick the ball with her left foot crossing over from behind) and then just jog around during game time. During the first week, I took her out for it.
During halftime: I looked at my group of five and six year olds and said “Here’s a word for today. Liability.” The first graders asked me “What does liability mean?” I told them “When your effort can be the reason you’re losing…go tell your parents you learned what liability means today.” Not only do I coach soccer, I teach them vocabulary.
With my pride and joy being a liability, I looked her in the eye and told her “Hey…you’re the most talented kid on this team and they need you. I need you to run.” She looked at me and said okay. Cydney started giving more of an effort. She had a few breakaways. When she was actually running, no one could stop her. However, the field that she is currently playing on is much larger than before, so she died out right before the finish and didn’t score. I sent Coach Eddie a video of Cyd’s play and he said she needs to work on making moves in front of defenseman. If she could do the things I have been teaching her while running in full stride, Super Second Grader wouldn’t stand a chance.
It’s the beginning of a new season and I have a feeling that I am in for some more interesting tales. Our first practice will be this afternoon.