Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Little Soccer Team That Did

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The day a group of 7-9 year olds inspired a community of parents with their hearts, teamwork, talent and drive.

Three weeks prior Coach Rik mentioned the tournament and us parents were anxious to know the details to plan for it in our already full lives - end of the year activities, upcoming Memorial holiday plans, weddings, baby showers, and the list goes on.

Well as luck would have it, the details wouldn't come until a week prior to the tournament. We were guaranteed to play three games. Then, we would move onto the semi-final and final games depending on our play and advancement. We all couldn't wait. Though we had only played 5 regular season games due to rain out, we would be playing that same amount of games over two days. Yes, our girls are good; but could we pull this off.

This mother wasn't so sure.

I wasn't sure what the metro area teams looked like. A soccer novice, I underestimated our girls' skill and drive. But, they showed us all on the field. Some competition was tough. They even lost one game to another team. But, our win in the third round rematch with this team, proved no match for Brazil.

Our girls went on to become the Metro-Atlanta U-10 Recreational Soccer Champions. And two weeks later, us parents are still in awe of their beauty and greatness. And, I'll say that this parent is also proud of the commitment and sacrifice all of the families have made in these girls.

And there is no better example than the email exchanges between us all on Monday. Our investment I know will send our girls out in the world to soar because of the love, care support and commitment that we are making right now.

I look forward to reporting their future success.

In the meantime, read our pride below:


I want to thank you all for your support this season and during the soccer tournament. Especially I want to thank Brett, Joel, and Fritz for their great coaching and for covering for me during the construction project at our house, and my lovely wife Suzanne our team mother. You four helped me immeasurably and we could not have won the citywide tournament to be Atlanta Champions without your support.

Now for the real heroes, our girls, who played their hearts out when they were exhausted, beaten up by rough play, and a grueling schedule. All I can say is wow, I have been around the sport, as many of you know since the seventy’s, and our girls played with as much heart as seen in a World Cup match. I am so very proud of them all. Please convey my message to them.

I expect that some of you may be upset with me because I did not play your daughters for much of the game and that is understandable. There are a few things that you should know; first, I was not willing to risk the well-being of our smaller or slower players against thugs who have not taught good sportsmanship to their children. That team was bigger than many of us, and used tactics that were illegal in most leagues; more despicably, they were willing to use physical violence to win. I assume many of you did not hear the comments the other team made during the first and second game but I can tell you they disgusted me and we will never engage in that type of behavior.

Secondly, some of our players were not in good enough physical condition to play at the level of intensity required for tournament play or lost focus during the game. I take full and complete responsibility for not having them in tournament condition, I promise by the end of next season they will be.

I will miss my soccer family over the summer very much and hope we will all play together next season. What we did is a truly remarkable feat, Brazil is the best U10 Girls team in Atlanta, please make sure our girls understand the significance of what we did, and the important life lessons they learned because of it.



Coach Rik and our soccer family,

I want you to know that I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for being "the village" in helping us raise our daughter (and now son). I know that my soccer family has been as much a part of Gabbi's (and Jonathan's) development as the work Fritz and I do collectively as parents.

My soccer family has also provided love, help, support and comfort to me over the years. For that I thank you all.

We cherish the commitment each of you has shown our girls. And, I consider us blessed to be a part of this community.

Our goal is to follow through on our commitment as far as we can in soccer and any other endeavors our babies want to take on.

I just want you all to know that I look forward to doing that with our soccer family as long as possible.

I plan to get to working on the scholarships for our girls next season. It's time the world learns about the greatness we live with every day in our girls (and boys soon to follow).

With love and grateful heart,



Owen and I want to thank each of you for your tremendous hospitality this past week. We were discussing last night how in all the teams we've been involved (and there have been a lot!) that this was the most special group of people we had ever been around. I cannot fathom how close you all must be after spending 4 + years together!

We were so thrilled that for the first time, Sarah LOVED soccer! Your daughters are all so genuine and kind and welcomed her with open arms - that she can't wait to join them again in the fall.

We especially thank Rik and the other coaches who so obviously have these girls best interests foremost in their minds. We look forward to seeing each of you again in the fall and getting to know each of you better.