Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Springville Soccer 2013

When soccer started back in August, we were all shorts and bottled water and desperate for shade.  The boys sweat through their uniforms and stunk the car up in only the way a pair of sweaty soccer-playing kids can. And then fall came and week after week the weather got a bit cooler and the nights darker sooner and by this game in early October, we were all in long sleeves and blankets and knit caps and the sun went down so early we had to end a game early on account of the boys losing sight of the ball.

We didn't bring a camera to any of the early games, or any of the midseason games, or really any of the late season games, but we did, on the last day of the season, finally remember to take a few photographs.  A look at Nolan here will tell you how cold it was.

Nolan loves to play defense.  I helped coach a few games near the end of the season and while most kids begged to play offense, I had to convince Nolan to spend some time on that side of the ball.  Here are a few shots of him clearing the ball.

Some fun things about six-year-old soccer: They play in that liminal space between kick-and-chase and real soccer, which means they're learning positions like offense and defense, but if you tell them that defense plays down at the edge of the goalie box, they'll go stand on that line, but then they won't move from it to save their life, until the offense is practically upon them. It means that when they play goalie, they're likely to forget that they CAN use their hands, and when they're not playing goalie, they'll likely forget they CAN'T. And finally, it means they can't wait to go in when they're waiting their turn on the sidelines, but if they have to wait too long, they're likely to end up in a wrestling match behind the row of parents-in-chairs, or sitting on mom's lap under a blanket, or playing with one of the puppies tied to one of the parent-in-chairs. 

It was grand fun to watch Nolan.  Soccer is a no pressure sport in Springville (unlike Lubbock) and all the kids had a great time.  Nolan had  teammates from his school and from our ward and like every outdoor activity in Utah County, we had the big sky and the shrugging mountains as our backdrop.

Callan played third-forth grade soccer, which has transitioned completely into real soccer, and it was fun to watch him and his teammates pass and cross and attack like a real soccer team.  They play on a big field and get pretty tired by the end of the game, but they have a lot of fun.

Funny that there's not much to say in terms of cute little kid antics for a third-fourth grade soccer team. Except for the soccer-ball to the face that turns into an unintentional header or the over-excited coach/dad/mom who gets too into the game and starts hollering at their child/the coaches/the ref/ and has to go somewhere else to cool down, there really isn't much to chuckle at.  Plenty to smile at, and plenty of opportunity to feel proud of these kids who are playing their guts out and learning to cooperate and sweat through 50 minutes of soccer.  And also a little to feel sad, or at least introspective about--that the lack of antics means they're growing up, a bit, that they're starting to figuring the world out, and they're one season closer to not needing us on the sidelines all the time.

Not too close though.  He is only ten.

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