Thursday, July 2, 2009
In October, 2008, Dr. Warren Wilson and Karla Gray began discussing the possibility of becoming involved in the Street Soccer program in Fort Worth. Both had participated in sports all their lives, but neither had played soccer. Undaunted, they moved forward in faith and in December, they met Griff Jacobsen, who volunteered to help coach the team. The Presbyterian Night Shelter, located in the Near East Side area of Forth Worth, kindly offered a place for the team to meet during inclement weather. Another business person in the area donated the use of a vacant field, where players meet on Mondays and Wednesdays for practice.
Over the next few months, the program evolved. Ryan Robbins signed on as coach and Warren Wilson moved on to other ventures. Now, with the help of volunteers around the community, the Fort Worth Program is thriving. Two evenings each week, you can drive past the playing field and find from eight to 15 young men deeply involved in the game.
"These guys have learned to lie for survival and not to trust anyone," says Gray, "The day they open up and begin to trust us is the day we can start helping them to change their lives.
And change their lives is exactly what is happening. One player is taking his GED in hopes to start college in the fall. One player is studying for his ASVAB test to fulfill his dream of joining the army and yet another is leaving soon for his first mission trip, one step closer to his goal of becoming a minister.
The Street Soccer Forth Worth team has taken on a wide array of challengers since its formation last year. They have traveled to Texas Christian University and scrimmaged against the TCU Women's Soccer Team and went to Austin to face off against the Street Soccer Austin squad. To follow their progress as they prepare for this summer's 2009 Street Soccer USA Cup, go to www.streetsoccertexas.org
Posted by Lawrence at 9:59 AM