Casey's soccer team, which had lost a couple games over the season, somehow still managed to end the regular season in second place and was paired against the undefeated- and much bigger- first place team. I caught the last match between the two, and the other team was bigger, but I thought our team was faster. When we played, it was in the middle of the afternoon and it was hot. We held them off for most of the game, but they managed a single goal in the third quarter-- it went right over our goalie's head. Speed can beat size, but it's hard to do in the heat. Still, the boys played a great game.
At the championship play-off, the weather was much different. First, the game was at 8:30 in the morning. Second, it was rainy out. Not pouring, but it drizzled off and on. Also, our boys had not practiced in two or three weeks because of the time change-- just could not find time on a lit field.
At the end of the game, the score was tied. 0-0. So it went into sudden death overtime. Not long into the start of overtime, Casey's teammate made a break-away run toward the goal. He had three defenders on him. But Casey did exactly what he was supposed to do. He ran down the field, stayed in position, and was where he was supposed to be when his teammate, now swarmed by players from the other team, passed him the ball. Without hesitation, Casey captured it, kicked it toward the goal and scored the winning goal.
All the boys high fived hime and cheered. All the parents stood and screamed. After the game, everyone patted him on the head. He later told me he felt so happy and so proud. He got phone calls from grandparents congratulating him, and he got to hear the story re-told over and over again. It was probably one of the very best days of his life to date.
Of course, I wasn't there for any of it (figures, doesn't it), so all I got was a text message explaining briefly that he'd scored the winning goal, and this picture:
It just goes to show you that it does not matter if you are the tallest or the smartest or even the best at something when you are on a team and you work together. That's what makes for championships. But, boy, it sure is nice to be the guy kicking the ball into the goal.