It would be difficult to explain how proud I am of my Town & Country U7B Chelsea soccer team. We've had a fantastic time playing up from U7B to U8B this season, since we knew we could handle it. A 6-2 record (which really in my mind will always be a 6-1-1 record for various reasons) proved we had what it took. A fantastic group of young boys that are wonderful to coach - not every practice mind you, but over-all a lot of fun. I'm of course very pleased with Ryan's play - he gives every drop of 100% effort, and comes up Aces almost every single game. If he's not the score leader, he's got incredible assists, excellent defensive stops, and a very fast running game. In fact Ryan practices with my U10Bs team every week, and can often best a good 1/2 of my older players, his brother on occasion included.
My fellow coach Coach Kyle is an experienced and incredibly energetic coach (normally surpassing my enthusiasm by quite a bit) who brings a sharp eye and excellent strategy to the team - I think we make a good coaching team. Combined with great families, it's been a very great couple of seasons.
So we decided to see if we're ready for U9 next season, another play-up jump for us. So I enlisted the help of U9B F 0 r z a M i l @ n (guess why I'm not making this Google searchable ;-) to come scrimmage us. FM has a 6-2 record, which is pretty solid, they had a good year - some of the the kids on that team looked like 5th graders they were so big, all and all a good match up.
I carefully explained to Chelsea what we were doing, and why we were doing it. I heard through the parents that all the kids were very excited to be doing this, and that made me very happy. I explained there was an excellent chance of losing this game, in fact I expected it. But we wanted to have fun, and test ourselves on the field of battle.
FM arrived with their matching red soccer bags, integrated side-line-seats, and a great attitude I must say. I've know the other coach for a while and he's a great guy.
Refereeing (since it was a scrimmage, not a game) was my older son Alexander - dressed in full kit with a yellow jersey and a whistle, he cut quite the imposing referee figure. Side-line ref A1ice (Kyle's daughter) rounded out the field. We had one sub on this 6v6 game and were ready to roll.
We started the game and almost immediately scored, a wonderful shot past the goalie by one of our power shooters on the front line. Immediately the game started looking up.
The boys played fantastic. Sharp passes, excellent defensive stops, power shots on goal, quick rebounds and great shot follow throughs. We quickly had it 2-0, followed by a 3rd goal that our tough ref called "roughing the goalie" that didn't count.
At some point FM brought it back even 2-2, and I figured OK, well this makes sense, they are a skilled team 2 years older than us, it's what I expected - the game could go either way.
So a U7 team beat a U9 team. Now I know that doesn't mean much. And I know, better than most I can tell you, that winning is not what is important. But winning is a trophy the kids give themselves for playing hard (when it's another good team). When we all shook hands, a FM player said to me, "Boy, you guys are good". Not only did that show the maturity and quality of that player, it made me proud. Of my team and my son.
So yesterday was an up day for me.