Saturday, March 14, 2015

All Star Soccer

Our first Aramco bus trip!  Headed to Dharhan for the tournament.  Addyson is staying in RT for a bday party.
A couple of weeks ago I received an email saying that Owen was a member of the Ras Tanura All Star soccer team!  I was SO excited for him and I was one proud momma!  I was so excited to shout it to the world.  I mean, I thought he was good but here was a group of men on camp, The Ras Tanura Soccer Board, agreeing with me!!
I know he is one of the youngest players by a long shot (there are 3rd graders on his team that are 9) and doesn't have the skills that some of the do however, he is lightening fast and has amazing ball handing skills!  With that and his ball drive and eagerness to learn he will go far!  His coach, Coach Amear has a love for the sport and puts a lot of his time and energy into training these young boys!  I was so happy Owen was going to be coach by him for this All Star (not that Brad isn't an amazing coach for Owen!).
A couple of days later I got an email asking me to be the coach for the girls' All Star team!  I was SO honored and so excited!!!  Brad always wondered where Owen got him talent from, looks like others on camp understood! : )  The first thing I asked was if the girls would be playing when Owen did because if so, I was going to opt out.  I'd rather watch Owen play.  At the time they thought we'd play at different times so I took the position.  Turns out, that wasn't the case. : (  However, we both had a great time and I tried to go sneak away and watch Owen as much as I could!

The tournament was set up this time between two camps, ours and Dhahran.  We had two boys teams and one girl team and they had the opposite.  This meant that our teams play each other (like here above) and the girls played the boys.  It was an afternoon jam packed full of soccer! 
5 games with 10 minute halves with 2-3 rest at half time and then 5 minute rest in between games!  The kids were exhausted by the end of it.  For starters, they never play this long, EVER.  And to make matters worse, the soccer pitches were full sized (we are use to smaller courts) and the goals were double our usual size.  With all that being said, the kids did amazing but I know they were all done by the end of it!
The interesting thing for the girls' team was that I had never coached at this level before (I'm use to coaching kindergarteners and 1st graders) and this team had NEVER played together before!  Right out of the gate we had to play the Dhahran boy's team.  It was a bit intimidating but the girls hung in there.  They spent most of the game getting use to each other and to new positions.  Back on camp the girls are mixed in with the boys and our boys are usually the strikers while the girls play defense so it took a bit of coaxing and coaching to get the girls confident as strikers!  By the 5th game they were amazing!  It was so fun to watch us all grow as a team in one afternoon!  The plan is to have another Aramco tournament at the end of April so hopefully we'll get lots of practice time in before then and be ready for it!  It has also been brought up that it might be time for RT to have a girl's league.... and they are sort of hinting that I should lead it!  We'll see!
The best RT group shot I could get.... missing the group on the right side.
Lots of talented kids!  And to think that this is just a small portion of the talent between two Aramco camps.  I know this is a small group selected out of about 90 kids in this age group in RT and Dhahran is much, much bigger!
Getting his medal!  All of the boys' team tied for 1st place so they broke up the places by goals scored.  That meant that Owen's team got third place.  This was SO confusing to them especially since Dhahran got second place but they had just beaten that team.
Hard earned medal!
Congrats Team Juventus!  As you can tell, not all of the boys are so thrilled about their medals.  A competitive bunch this is.  They didn't understand why Dhahran placed higher.  Oh, the life lessons start early!
Owen and I could not have done as well as we did without our sideline cheers and helpers!!  Thanks for Brad and Ethan for always being there with a smile, high five, class of water, and a pat on the back!  I love that soccer has become a family event!  Looking forward to the tournament at the end of April!

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