My oldest son Nathan has a mid-summer birthday, so he hits the cut-off for his soccer league just right. Last year he was the youngest and smallest on his team (made for the NBA, we are not). That didn’t deter him, as he ran hard and mixed it up with any of the kids out there. Unfortunately, he didn’t manage to score a goal last year, although he came close a few times.
He was a little bummed, as my middle boy Matt was a scoring machine on his team (TWO separate hat-tricks, thank you very much). Of course, Matt was on the U-6 (under six) while Nate is on the U-8 team. The difference is two more players and a little more skill. With the youngest kids, the ball is usually stuck in a group of kids falling all over each other. Pretty cute, but if a kid like Matt has the sense to pop the ball outside and go up the field with it, he can get goals easy.
Nate was a very good defender though, and he realized that with a little encouragement from us. He knew he stopped a lot of goals, but he still wanted to score. Who can blame him?
This year I anticipated would be different. He would have a year to grow and be in the middle of the group. Except…they changed the cut-off date for teams and birthdays. So he is the youngest and smallest on his team! However, he is one of the more knowledgeable kids as far as soccer goes, and continues to hustle and show no fear in getting in there after the ball.
Setting: Soccer fields at MVMS, 3rd quarter. Game is still close, 3-1 in our favor (go Jaguars). Our team is pushing down the field again. Suddenly, from the left wing, Nate nails the ball and the ball squeaks in from an almost impossible angle…
(Yes, I’ve watched soccer on Univision before – more exciting than ESPN!)
I’m very proud of you my son. You persevered, and you got it at the right time. Keep up the great work!