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This week I have decided to brag just a little bit. My dad is in his first year coaching high school boy’s soccer, and he made quite the impact, if I do say so myself.
At my high school, soccer was never really taken seriously. We all worked so incredibly hard and poured our hearts into the game, not because we received recognition, but because we just love to play. The players there are still the same way- playing for nothing but love of the game.
This year was a little bit different. This year, the varsity boy’s soccer team made it to the final round of the Regional Tournament, just one game away from going to State. This was further than any soccer team in the history of that high school has ever gone, and my dad had a large something to do with it.
I spoke with him on the phone after the game and he was disappointed because he felt like he didn’t do a good enough job, almost as if he let the team down. What I tried to remind him of, what I’m hoping to do now, is to help him realize that he is a part of this team, and he has made such an impact on those boys’ lives. Because of what the team (coaches included) has done this year, soccer will finally be taken seriously at school. All of the kids who stay after the bell to practice, who get home late after games only to stay awake doing homework, will be recognized for their hard work.
It takes a lot of courage to do what these boys have done, to fight for the thing they love even when a lot of people don’t think they will make it. They did.
I wanted to tell their story because I am so incredibly proud of them. I’m proud of my dad for believing in a group of boys with such fight in them. I’m proud of the team for never once saying they couldn’t do it. After all, who told them they couldn’t?
I think we can all learn something from them. It’s cliché, but they are the perfect example…never give up. This world has too much to offer for us not to reach for every chance we are given. Even when those chances are disguised as burdens, there is always an opportunity for us to prove to ourselves that there isn’t anything we can’t do, no battle we can’t win.
To the Battlin’ Billie Soccer Boys, to my dad: I am so proud of you all. Thank you for never giving up.
And Mom, the chocolate chip cookies you sent to them made all the difference in the world.