Saturday, March 10, 2007

Back to Back

For the second week in a row Street Soccer 945 claimed victory. Last week, a depleted squad (4 team members were invited to perform their spoken words and rap at Queen’s University’s Black History Month Celebration) won 5-2. Typically the team performs better when fewer players come, since substitutions often disrupt our cohesion. Last week’s victory showed great persistence as Street Soccer 945 rallied from 0-2 to score five consecutive shots.

Even more resounded was this Wednesday’s 13-4 trouncing of a team Street Soccer 945 lost to by 6 goals in the early weeks of the season. While our stronger technical players showed more hustle and willingness to pass, it was a couple players who have learned to play in the last year or two that earned the trust of the other teammates, and whose movement on the field openned the game up for our squad. C-White and Andre Wannamaker in particular showed excellent spacing and field awareness, making the coaching staff swell with pride.

Now that the season is over, we will do some close case-work and raise the bar on expectations of individuals who have shown their capacity to excell.

After the came we had a bleak reminder of what folks deal with on the street. Our man of the match, C-White, 19 years old, was assalted after the match and ended up with a concussion and a sore jaw. We had a nice discussion afterwards about what it means to stand up for yourself and not be a pushover. We talked about the human need to prove oneself, and most importantly we agreed that being dragged into a challenge and trying to prove yourself when there is nothing to gain is a sign of weakness. No matter how you figure it, scrapping or fighting is part of the street and win or lose that is where it will get you--on the street. If you want to move on, you have to learn to walk away. You have to have strong enough personal ego to walk away from certain people and certain conflicts. I think that is what soccer and other activities gives our guys—an identity other than being “street.” It allows them to build their ego around discipline, skills, practice, teamwork, rather than toughness, fighting, and other things that will serve to undermine their hopes for a better life.

Next season begins March 21st, so please come cheer us on.

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