Post-Banquet Reaction

Good evening, lovers of cheese.

I’m sitting here at my computer with some thoughts. I feel like we just had a match, because I know I won’t be able to sleep tonight. Seeing everyone back together again hit me, as they say, right in the feels, and I love it.

In my lap now, I have the card you all gave as a gift. I am about to open it for the first time. Though it will not seem like it through this text format, you will be reading my initial thoughts as I see what is inside the card. I promise I will be honest with what I say.

Before I open it, though, let me thank you all again, both parents, grandparents, relatives of any sort, and players, for a wonderful 2018-2019 BCHS Soccer season. I can think of no better way to spend my free time than working with these young ladies, and I cherish every minute of it.

Okay…time to open this thing. I think I’m going to keep a running tear count. Every time I feel a tear go down my face, I will make a tally. Along the way in the post, I will give a final tear count where one tear is represented by (fittingly in some ways…perhaps some may know why) an asterisk (*). One asterisk is one tear.

Here we go…

Shew…y’all…

Working from the top left…

Marcy,
Thank you for your kind words! You were a major part of the great year we had, and I look forward to the future.

Sarah,
You’re welcome! I will always hear “Oh! We pushin’ now” in my head…

Sam,
You’re welcome! I will miss having your grit in defense, and future players will have a lot to measure up to. Thanks for being a great captain!

Leah,
You’re welcome! One of my favorite moments of yours is when you made a 50 yard recovery run to stop a goal against Monroe Co. Great stuff!

Isabella,
You’re welcome! Thank you for being who you are, too! I love your positive spirit and energy. Team Zoo!!!

Aubrey,
Thank you for being an awesome player and student. I am proud of you both on the field and in the classroom this year.

Chloe P.,
I am so glad you decided to join up with us! I look forward to seeing you continue to grow as a soccer player. The sky is the limit!

Amber,
Thank you for your kind words. I enjoy seeing you in the hall every morning, and you always have a smile on your face. That’s awesome!

Olivia,
You’re welcome! I think this will be the year where we stay concussion free! (Both of us!) Thank you for all you do.

Chloe D.,
Written in lovely blue, your message means a lot. Thank you for being the person you are! It’s a joy seeing you at school!

Abby,
You teach me a lot, too! Thank you for your hard work and effort that you put in. I enjoy having you on the team!

Autumn,
Thank you for your kind words. I’ve enjoyed having you in class, too. We will continue to grow together, and next year we will rock worlds.

Kara,
Thank you for being a model captain. I firmly believe that it was your spirit that led us to victory vs. Grayson Co. You made my two years special ones, and I thank you for that.

Bailey,
Thank you for everything. You are a phenomenal athlete and an even better person. Thanks for giving all you did for our program.

And, from the back of the card…

Mikayla,
Your words are very touching. I am glad you enjoyed this year. I wish you had played all your years, too. I would like to do it again, too. You, too, made it fun!

*********************************************************************** I lost count, really. It is hard to keep track of a running faucet.

Whew! Thank you all very much. I want to leave you with something that means a lot to me.

When I think about soccer, I think it all starts with a dream. When kids are young, and they get that ball at their feet and kick it for the first time (then chase after it and kick it again) something happens that is magical, and I’m not sure it is quite the same in other sports. Soccer at its core is a sport for dreamers – a sport for people who want to play something beautifully and create moments of brilliance.

Guess what?

As you may know, we have recently started a camp/league that runs on Saturdays (through the end of May). Now, you may also remember that I tried to start a camp last year, but I had no one sign up.

That’s not the case this year.

We are currently at over 40 kids signed up, with the majority of them age 10 and under.

These kids are kicking the ball for the first time as young as four. They are feeling that magic.

Do you know why I think this is happening this year?

They (through the eyes of the community) were witnesses to our season this past year. As a soccer team, we put the spark into the young hearts of our community and gave them the chance to dream.

I knew this was going to be a special season,  but I do not think I have shared the moment with you in which that really struck me.

We had started the season 0-3, and we had lost those games by the scores of 0-2, 0-6, and 0-10. As we traveled to Hart Co., I knew we were due not just to score, but to win. Well, Bailey scored a first half hat trick (with assists from Kara and Autumn), and we had the largest  lead we have ever had at halftime (3-0) thanks to some solid defending and goalkeeping.

In the second half, they scored one to take it to 3-1. They had momentum. Were we going to wilt?

No.

Off the kickoff, after an initial scramble, Sarah kicked the ball upfield to Bailey, who fought her way past a defender and blasted a curler into the top corner. It was beautiful!

Where I was standing on the sideline, I was actually right behind the ball when Bailey kicked it. It went up, higher than the goal, and curled back down just inside the top right corner. I wish I could share my point-of-view of that goal on the highlights. Anyway, when it went in, I put my arms out to the side, like an airplane, and ran down the sideline shouting praises for our team (I’m really sorry this is not captured on HUDL).

The whole point is, in the moment where I stopped my airplane run and turned back to the bench, I cried, because, suddenly, I was a four-year-old again, running with my arms out to the side, like an airplane, in celebration of a goal I had scored in my front yard years before. It sort of just hit me all at once and transported me back to my youth when I first felt that love of the game. That is the true beauty of soccer. That moment wrecked me (in the best way), and I knew we were back on track.

And then we went and had our best season ever.

And now 40 plus kids are catching that spark and feeling it like me, like you, like us.

I think I just **************************** some more typing that.

Thanks, all of you.

For everything.

Coach (Mr.) Garrett

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