That’s how I feel right now. I have had a little time to unwind before I got on these keys (and that’s probably a good thing so I am able to compose my thoughts), and now I can reflect on a great evening.
Let’s go over the recipe to win a soccer match.
One part goalkeeping: Check
One part defending: Check
One part midfield control: Check
One part great forward play: Check
One part great support from all: Check
At least one more goal than the other team…
That’s a rather tasty combination of ingredients there, y’all.
Do you know what I love about our team? We genuinely care about one another. Any time one of our players does something well, we instantly celebrate it. Any time one of our players has something go wrong, we instantly come to their support with words of encouragement.
Let’s pause a minute and talk about life.
Sometimes, life is not fair. You can do everything right, EVERYTHING, and still you will fall short. It has happened to me in my life, and I would not be too surprised to find out it happened to everybody reading this right now. That’s just the nature of life.
Sports are no different. We prepared well Saturday, and outplayed our opposition for vast stretches of that game, and we still lost. I know we all remember how low that felt. Life had just knocked us down.
At the risk of getting a little cliche, it’s not about getting knocked down; it’s about getting back up. We came into tonight against an opponent that beat us twice last year, outscoring us 6-0 across the two matches. Still, it was a team we felt we could hang with.
And, y’all, did we.
Did you hear that fan support? I appreciate that.
Did you hear the roar when we scored? I appreciate that.
I mean, this is, in my opinion, the greatest sport on the planet, and you all just witnessed a great game of it. Drama, excitement, tension…it had it all.
And we came through winners.
Now, we go on to tough opposition the rest of this week before a match against our greatest rival a week from tonight.
I am so ready.
Get some rest.
I’m proud of you all.
Coach (Mr.) Garrett
PS (A rare PS??!?!?!?)
If you all get a chance, check out the great work by the Breck Live team of John, Noah, William, and Trevor. It’s a treat. I’m listening to it right now.
Now I REALLY won’t be able to sleep having relived the match…
Good night, all!
That’s how I felt as soon as the final whistle sounded.
That’s how I felt for a little while after the game.
I felt that way because that was a team we could have beaten and a game we could have won.
So far this season, we have played six matches, and we have lost six matches.
Two of those were extremely difficult opponents. We played hard, and we moved on.
I’m not one for excuses, but I’ll try to process these losses, because the other four that we have lost have been winnable.
Taylor Co.: 1-4 defeat. We took the lead. We played well in moments. We also had over half of our team playing their first match ever that night. I understand the loss.
Butler: 2-4 defeat. We took the lead. We played well in more moments. It was our third match of the season. We won the second half 1-0. We also made some silly mistakes that cost us. We learn, and we move on.
LaRue Co.: Yes, a good team. We lost 1-8. You all know my thoughts on almost all of their goals, and we had some good chances. We made some silly mistakes. We learn, and we move on.
Bullitt Central: 0-2 defeat. This one was tough. The first goal was a mistake we made that wrapped it up and put it under the tree. We learn, and we move on. The second goal was a penalty that should not have been given. Also, just minutes before they scored their first, we had a chance to make it 1-0 and we missed it. Ifs are dangerous to play with, kind of like fire, so I will leave the ifs in the drawer for now. We learn, and we move on.
The point of all this, girls, is that we learn, and we move on.
Don’t lose sight of that fact that our defense played lights out today – the best game they have had.
Don’t lose sight of that fact that our midfield combined well in moments and was better at limiting opponents space.
Don’t lose sight of the fact that all three starters in forward positions had never started there before, and we still created a great scoring chance.
I know we were all frustrated immediately after the match; I was right there with you. We wanted the win so badly, and we played well enough to have it, yet it eluded us. Don’t forget what I said, though, prior to the match. I told you this was going to be our toughest game yet because we will be competing. The pressure can be extreme in close games. The thing about pressure, though, is that it creates diamonds. We will remember this the next time we play them.
You may wonder why I was so late in posting this. I just finished watching the whole game from the recording of our broadcast team. I want to thank Noah, John, William, and Wymon for the part they played. When the hundreds of viewers watch you all play, they will see a strong team. We just need to keep our heads down, and we will pull through.
We learn, and we move on. I remain, as ever, proud of you all.
Fort Knox Monday.
Coach (Mr.) Garrett
For all you drivers out there, you’ll know the feeling of being at a red light on a lonely road. Going straight, you will arrive at the light and wait on it to change. You look left. You look right. Nothing is coming, yet still you sit.
You start to wonder if anybody would notice if you ran the light, taking a shortcut from the legal rules of the road.
If you’ll allow me the comparison, I feel like our team is sitting at that light right now. We started the season going in a direction together. Along the way, we encountered this light, and we are waiting for it to change. We refuse to take shortcuts to success, though, and instead we work hard each and every night. We have played some tough matches, and learned some valuable lessons, but still we search for our first victory together as a unit. We still are waiting for that green light to show us the way ahead.
I’ll say this, win or lose Saturday, that light is turning green. I told the team something in private after tonight’s match. They’ll remember what I said.
Everyone else will see it happen on Saturday.
Red -> Green
Coach (Mr.) Garrett
Well, another game has come and gone, and we find ourselves on the end of a tough scoreline.
Let’s remember what we talked about going into the match.
These things are true, and I still believe them. We lasted 32 minutes longer tonight than we did against Meade. That’s a good thing. It means we are getting better.
You know how else I can tell we are getting better? After this game, as I was talking with some of you all, you seemed upset. As I asked you about it, you all said the same thing:
“I don’t like to lose.”
That’s good. I am so glad we have that attitude! When players lose, and are happy-go-lucky, it tells me that maybe they did not expect to have any chance at all and are just glad to be there. That falls back to me as the coach. I have to make sure our minds are right before we go out and play. Tonight, as the final whistle sounded, we were upset.
Again, that is great! That means we expect ourselves to do better, and we would not have those expectations if we did not know they were possible. The fact that we are getting upset about losing tells me that our first win with this unit is not far away.
We must continue to all remain patient. These things take a little time. We are this close to turning the corner and jumping that first hurdle for the first W together. Once that happens, they will continue to roll in.
I have staked a lot by saying this will end up being the best team I have ever coached. I still believe that as I sit here and type this.
See you all tomorrow.
Coach (Mr.) Garrett
Every team has its signature moments. Throughout the course of the season, things happen that forge identities between the players on the field.
We had one of those today.
Let’s all face facts here: It is not really very fun losing 10-0 in any match. What matters, though, is the response. Are we a team who just shows up, or are we a team who wants to do something special?
If you were at our match today, you found the answer.
Coming off of that tough defeat, I was hoping to see our team respond in the best way. Within the first thirty seconds, we created a beautiful scoring opportunity. Within the first ten minutes, we had a 1-0 lead. Then, things got away from us a little. We went into halftime hot, sweaty, and physically drained. How would we respond?
Standing in the shade of the tree behind our field, I told the team that we did not need to worry about the other team, and we did not need to worry about the referees. Those are two groups outside of our control. We needed to look within to find some effort to go out and take the game to them. With the score 4-1 them, I told the team something like this:
“Girls, forget the score. I want you to set your minds to 0-0 and go out there and play your hearts out. We will create chances and we will score. Let’s win this half, and I know you will.”
Now, here’s the thing: This can easily backfire. This gets said all the time in sports, and it sometimes does not happen. If our girls had gone out and conceded a few goals and lost the half 3-0, my motivational chatter would not teach us anything. It would be just noise.
Thankfully (and I knew we could do it all along), we went out and won the second half
1-0. We outfought them. We created better chances. We passed better. We defended better. It was a joy to watch!
Yes, the final result was not what we wanted, but now we had a moment. We had gone out against a very good team and held them in the second half while outscoring them. This is crucial for our team, because now we have a moment to remember when things look bleak. If we can do it once, we can do it again!
We will do it again Monday night at John Hardin! I’m already excited to hit the field.
Let’s all rest a little bit first, though, huh? That was a hot one today.
I’m proud of y’all!
Coach (Mr.) Garrett
When I sit down to my keyboard, I do not know just what is going to come out. I’ll spend a little time reflecting on the match and, as I look at my clock and see 11:08 PM, I know I will be up for a little while yet.
I may as well share some of my thoughts tonight with you all.
First, the match.
That was about as tough as it is going to get this season, girls. With the exception of maybe one or two of our upcoming matches, that one will be the most challenging one we will face. Here is the thing from me, though…no matter the opponent, I do not focus on the result. I focus on the performance. Our performance was a gritty one against quality opposition. We made some mistakes, but we are learning to correct those (and I saw some GREAT improvement in lots of areas from the first match to this second one).
There are not many teams that can lose a match and still keep their heads. Usually, someone will yell at someone else when things go sideways. That sort of negative energy spreads, and teams can go into a funk. When the final whistle blew tonight, I saw encouragement in our squad. I saw togetherness in our squad. I saw girls putting arms around girls to support them in our squad. If you know me, you’ll probably know that I just teared up a little bit typing those sentences as I replayed those moments in my mind.
Y’all…I have never been more excited than I am right now. I am excited because the future of this team (the very near future) is so bright. If it was a star, it would be visible from millions of light years away. We only need a little more time to unlock that potential, and we will. I told you after the match that I have never been more excited for a practice. Tomorrow is going to be amazing, and we will learn a lot. We will remember the basics and polish them to be ready to go on Saturday.
Meade County had some incredibly talented girls on their team – some real standouts. If all the girls on all the soccer teams in all the high schools were put into one big player group, and coaches got to pick whoever they wanted from them, do you know who I would pick*(of current high school players)?
Sydney Tucker, Autumn Rogers, Mariah Stephens, Amber Miller, Lauren Lucas, Skylar Tucker, Aleigha Mucker, Aubrey Tabor, Isabella Sprowles, Paige Coogle, Isabel Grimes, Morgann Lucas, Marcy Rogers, Chloe Denner, Anna Adkins, Chloe Peterson, Caleigh Moore, Kate Adkins, Olivia Biggs, Delaney Carter, and Abby Shannon.
Yeah. I’ll take them. They can keep all the others. I don’t need them. I have my team, and our team is special.
I want to give a special shout-out to Aleigha and Isabel who made their varsity debuts tonight, playing hard and showing incredible promise. Sydney is less than two weeks away from her debut, and the world is ready.
I’m so proud of this team, and when I think about what you all will accomplish this year, I can’t help but smile. It is a teary smile (Those are good).
It must be getting late! It is almost tomorrow – practice!!!
I’m so excited that I fear I won’t be able to sleep. Here’s to trying!
See you all tomorrow (or is it today already?)!
Coach (Mr.) Garrett
595 and 233.
Do these numbers mean anything to you? They are about to take on some meaning. Give me a little bit, though.
Before the match, we talked about a few things we wanted to focus on. I asked you all to play hard and to play for each other.
I also asked you to get valuable experience to learn the game.
Check. In fact, I think every player can probably reflect on that match and think of something she could have done differently. That’s called learning! That’s part of this process.
Let me explain those numbers.
These numbers have to deal with last season and this season. The first is the number of matches combined that the roster of last year’s team had under their belts. The second is the number of matches combined that our team who played tonight has under their belts.
That is a MASSIVE difference. Over 300 games of experience worth of difference.
This is a good thing. Do you know why? You all are fast learners! This team, more than any team I have coached, seems to pick stuff up quickly. It is exciting to see. Were we outplayed tonight by Taylor County? Yes. Will we learn from that? Absolutely. By the end of this season (of which we still have AT LEAST 20 more matches), our combined experience will be close to 595 games played combined. We will get there, girls. We cannot learn all we need to know in one match, but we can pick up some things along the way to help us play better next time out.
Let me highlight some great moments.
Abby, you made some awesome saves and kept us in this match! I can think of one in particular, a hard shot from close in, that I thought for sure was going in, yet you reached up and snagged it! Thank you for keeping us close.
Lauren, you made your varsity debut tonight, and you showed tremendous promise on the right side of defense. I can still picture that interception you made late in the match, when you were tired yet still going hard, and that makes me proud. Thanks for that!
Chloe D., what I told you after the game I will now share with the world. You have such a calm manner about your defending to where I am confident you will own every situation. Late in the match, you controlled a ball before passing it. Beautiful! Thanks!
Skylar, you made your varsity debut tonight, and you played exactly how I hoped you would. You were aggressive, you never gave up, and, when they kept coming, you stood strong back there. I am proud of that. Thank you for your toughness!
Kate, you made your varsity debut tonight, and I loved how you were willing to go into tough challenges and battle. There is a lot of running on that left flank, but you did not shy away from it. Thank you for your willingness to work hard in defense!
Olivia, you had a nice game in defensive midfield, getting forward and covering defensively. You are one of the veterans on this team, and you played like it tonight. Thank you for working hard for the team!
Anna, you made your varsity debut tonight, and you should be proud of how you played. I am! The midfield is a battle zone, but you were ready for it. The game will only get easier the more you play. Thank you for stepping up when we needed you!
Aubrey, you made some excellent pushes forward and were one of our biggest threats offensively. It is only a matter of time before your name is on the scoresheet. You have the grace of a natural wing player. Thank you for sharing it with us!
Autumn, you led like a true leader out there, and your assist from the corner was part of our first ever goal from a corner kick in my tenure as coach. The sky is the limit for you this season, and I am glad you are on our side. Thanks for being a model captain!
Chloe P., you took up a great position on the back post to sweep in your first of many goals! That was awesome! I look forward to the future, and your footwork is clean and getting better each day. Thanks for sharing your talents with our program!
Marcy, you got a taste of life at the front against tough opposition, and you really came on strong in the second half. I see many goals in your future, and they will come sooner than you may think. Thank you for not giving up tonight! I’m proud of that.
Morgann, you made your varsity debut tonight, and you provided some solid minutes at the forward position. If you keep working hard and getting into good positions, you will give yourself a chance to score like you did in practice! Thanks for being on our team!
Delaney, you went past a girl once tonight and that got me very excited! You have gotten so much better since last season. All that you need now is experience, and you will get it! Thank you for working to improve your game! It shows.
Paige, you played several positions tonight, and you did yourself proud in each spot. Thank you for your spirit, always positive, and thank you for your play, too. You have improved greatly since last year and the year before!
Amber, you put in some great minutes tonight and got into the action. Thank you for fighting for each ball that came your way! I appreciate that determination, and I am proud of you for playing!
Caleigh, you got a taste of the varsity life in your debut tonight, and I enjoyed watching you play. As you learn more about the game, things will become simpler. Thank you for playing for us and bringing your positive energy to the team.
Isabella, you put in some good minutes tonight, and I appreciate how much you care about playing! I could tell you were really giving it all you had, and I love that, and it makes me proud! Thank you for being a positive light for our squad!
Mariah, even though your ankle is recovering, ruling you out of playing tonight, you made me proud by helping with the ball on the sideline. I love that you are eager to play, and I promise it will be soon, and you will love it! Thank you for helping tonight.
Sydney, I know it was tearing you up not being out there tonight. Once you are cleared, we will unleash you on the soccer world. I promise you NO ONE is ready for that! Thank you for your support, and, once you are in, you are going to destroy our opposition.
This was the first step on our journey. When our season is over, and we reflect on tonight, it will seem so far away and in the past. For now, just know that I am proud of you, and, with experience, we will be ready to take on whoever lines up across from us. I think I’m going to go eat now. Rest well! You have earned it tonight. I’ll say it again: I am proud of you.
Coach (Mr.) Garrett
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…
Working from the top left…
Thank you for your kind words! You were a major part of the great year we had, and I look forward to the future.
You’re welcome! I will always hear “Oh! We pushin’ now” in my head…
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!
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!
You’re welcome! Thank you for being who you are, too! I love your positive spirit and energy. Team Zoo!!!
Thank you for being an awesome player and student. I am proud of you both on the field and in the classroom this year.
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!
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!
You’re welcome! I think this will be the year where we stay concussion free! (Both of us!) Thank you for all you do.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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…
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.
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?
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.
Coach (Mr.) Garrett
I once had the privilege of listening to some wise words of wisdom from someone much older than me. This man, in his eighties and nearing the end of his life, said something that really stuck with me.
He said, “In the end, all you really have are your stories.” This quote, issued from this old man’s mouth, really struck a chord. He was a man with numerous stories – too many to count and, as life goes on, the idea that we all collect stories to share is one that resonated in my mind.
That being said…
Do you have time for a story? If you do, please share it with me.
In the fall of 2018, a soccer team came together as it had for several seasons now since the fall of 2012. This was the high school team from Breckinridge County. This team, though, was not an average team. Thinking back to those hot July days now gets me a little teary, because I am able to take a step back and view our season as a whole.
It was a great season.
It was the best season Breckinridge County has ever seen.
Do you know the best part? It all belongs to you – the players.
This was a season where we showed up hungry and ready to play.
This was a season where we made great strides from last year’s already great season.
This was a season where we were unafraid to go toe-to-toe with powerhouse teams.
This was a season where we won the most games in school history (5).
This was also a season where we had some individual accolades.
This was a season where Bailey Caster shattered our goals in a season record (with 15) and goals in a career record (with 23).
This was a season where Autumn Rogers broke the all-time career assists record (with 7).
This was a season where Abby Shannon broke the record for most clean sheets (with 4).
This was a season where Samantha and Leah Rogers broke the all-time appearances record (with 56 each – fitting that they should share this mark since they shared the core of our defense).
The thing about these individual accolades, though (and the girls I mentioned above would be the first to say this – another reason we are an awesome team), is that none of them were possible without our entire team working together. We fought for one another. We played our hearts out for one another.
This was a great season. There is a tinge of sadness, though, because all those statements are in the past tense. Yes, our season is over. All good things eventually come to an end. However, like the wise old man I quoted earlier said, we are left with our stories.
Thank you for being one of the best parts of my life’s story. You gave me a reason to dream and a reason to believe in something special.
As long as I have breath, and as long as people have ears, I am going to share how proud I am of you all, and I am going to tell this story.
And, if I end up being an older man in his eighties like the man I quoted earlier, I know I will turn to Beth Ann, hold her wrinkled hand in mine, and say, in my most distinguished elderly voice…
“Remember our soccer team from Fall 2018? I loved that team…”
I love you all.
Coach (Mr.) Garrett
Every group of seniors is special to me.
Last year’s four seniors (Amber, Kelela, Riley, and Kirstin) hold a special place in my heart because they were my first group of seniors, and that team broke a lot of records.
This year’s group is just as special, though.
This group of seniors led our team to a school record five wins.
This group of seniors led our team to a school record FOUR clean sheets (when the previous six seasons had just one combined).
This group of seniors led our team past Grayson County for the first time.
I could say so many things about this group, but we would be up all night, and, if we are up all night, we will not have the energy for biscuit baking in the morning, so I will be brief from here.
I have a feeling that I will be typing something about this group of seniors leading us to our first district tournament win in the near future.
If we play like we did tonight, and for the majority of this season, there is no reason that cannot happen.
Rest well, team. You all EARNED it!
Coach (Mr.) Garrett