JL Long Bucs soccer team waiting for 2nd game -- photo: V. Aves
Despite the gloomy weather forecast of heavy rains on Friday and possibly rain on Saturday morning a beautiful day emerged at sunrise on Saturday for the first game and round of the Richardson YMCA Fall 2018 Shootout Tournament at Lookout Park in Richardson, TX . The air was brisk, trees full of color, grass brown and crunchy and the nervous excitement of the first soccer game was in the air as 17 players from the co-ed JL Long Bucs team arrived on the field for warm ups. The teams lined up at center field, team captains shook hands and the YMCA pledge was recited for all. Then the game whistle blew and the first game against all boys St. Marks Lions Gold team had begun for the Buccaneers! The ball was scrambled back and forth and both a strong defense and offense made some great plays for the Bucs. The Bucs scored the first goal! As the wind picked up speed some shots on goal were missed and the score was 2-1 at halftime with the Bucs in the lead. Again during the second half, some excellent goalie moves by the Bucs and more shots on goal put the Bucs ahead 4-2 for the final score! Players, coaches and parents were happy to win the first round. Then came the long and dreaded wait from 9:30 AM to 12:45 PM to play the Mustangs. Some of the families stayed at Lookout Park, others went home if nearby, others went out to eat and everyone was told to arrive back by no later than noon. As the players arrived back in groups, some went and kicked the ball around, others sat and watched other teams play and a couple were even caught dozing off in the beautiful sunshine! As the all-boys Mustang team arrived onto the other side of the field, many of the Bucs commented on their short stature. Coaches commented back to players and said not to get too confident as size in the game of soccer does not matter! The teams met in the middle of the field and it was truly a David vs. Goliath set up as the Mustang team dwarfed in size to the JL Long Buccaneers. The game whistle blew for the 2nd game and the Mustangs came out galloping and scored the first goal within minutes, putting the Bucs into a state of shock. As the game ensued the Buccaneer players appeared sluggish and were just not moving the ball with the vigor of the first game. At halftime the score was 3-1 in favor of Mustangs and the Bucs players were commenting on how fast they were. Coaches told the Bucs that this was the first game of the tournament for the Mustangs and that they just needed to concentrate and communicate like they did in the first game. Sides of the field were changed and the wind picked up. The whistle blew for the 2nd half and the Mustangs continued to rally on the slow moving Bucs team. Both the defense and offense seemed tired and worn as the Mustangs speed and determination led them to final victory with a score of 5-2. Although there was disappointment on the sidelines and some sad faces of not advancing to the next round, coaches and parents assured them that there will always be another day to win. The next thing on the agenda for the 6th grade Bucs team is the Fall 2018 awards dinner TBA soon!