Out west Sacramento is kicking soccer balls and smoking habits. The team, which began last fall, has been steadily getting ready for the Street Soccer USA Cup. Once training began the guys took to it seriously, and all have stayed clean and sober.
Sacramento is bringing six dedicated players, and one set of film equipment to this years SSUSA Cup, as one of the players has begun an internship with a local public access cable network company.
The team is directed and coached by Chris Mann, and the players either live in the Mather Community Campus Transitional Living Program, or have moved out on their own. Half of the team not only works, but attends school as well.
One former resident, Wes, was a motivating factor in getting this team off the ground. Wes was an inmate in the Department of Correction from the age of 18 to 24, and came to Mather afterwards. He became a model citizen despite his past, and he excelled in both school and in his ability to support his community. Eventually Wes obtained a job with the California Department of Corrections and works with 19-24 paroled youths to help find them community based activities. Wes has worked tirelessly to make Street Soccer available to his guys and Wes' program will be represented on the Sacramento team at the SSUSA Cup.
Sacramento is looking forward to adding to the legacy it has built in such a short time. They are spreading the message that social change happens to all people from all experiences and all walks of life. The team understands that they carry the torch for people in the same situation across the country, and take great pride in being in this event. They are the difference they want to see.