Bucs players praying for a win during shoot out -- photo by V. Aves
This past Saturday November 2nd , the morning was cool and brisk with the grass crisp with frost underfoot. Several of the 6th grade Bucs were kicking the soccer ball around the field at Lake Highlands park trying to keep warm. When the rest of the team arrived they were all a bit cold due to the weather, but hot with anticipation in playing for the finish of the Fall season for their 9:30 AM game. The Bucs were scheduled to play FC Stanley in the first game. The winner of the game would go to play for first place against winner of the earlier game that played that morning. FC Stanley played a hard game against the Bucs at their first meeting and beat the Bucs, so our team was nervous. Both Coach Daniel and Coach Victor told the team that despite not being able to practice the previous week…they all knew what needed to be done. Several schematics on the dry erase board were used, the starting lineup established, a Tom Landry pep talk was given and the Bucs team was roaring to go! As the game started with FC Stanley, coaches and parents knew the Bucs team was on a mission as they were the first to score! The first half was pretty competitive from both sides, but after the second, the Bucs continued to score with help from a solid defense. The final score was 9-5 with the Bucs advancing to the possibility of first place with the White Rock YMCA 6th grade Boys division. The 6th grade JL Long Bucs team is the only co-ed team in this division.
The Bucs team had one hour to relax, play or grab some hot cocoa between games. They all nervously talked amongst each other as the Kicks had really rallied against the Bucs and performed well during the first game for a solid win. The Bucs circled up nervously for the team chant and shortly thereafter the game had begun! A great solid defense from both teams kept the first half scoreless. Right after the second half started the Kicks came in and surprised the Bucs with a score. Not more than a few plays later the Bucs scored. The game was tied solidly 1-1 until the final moments of the game as several shots on goal were missed by both teams. As the whistle blew to the end the game, all the players looked at each other and asked what now? The teams went to a shootout. The Bucs chose Ernesto Bernard to be their goalie for the shootout. Goalies from both teams went through one round of players diving, jumping and doing body blocks to prevent the ball from going into the net. By this time, a crowd of younger players and parents had surrounded the field to watch the action. After 13 shots on goal, one went past the Bucs goalie and in the end, the Kicks heralded at the winners for first place. This was a phenomenal finish to the regular season and the Bucs still have the Richardson YMCA tournament next Saturday. Everyone was very proud of our 6th grade Bucs team!