a DEFEATED season

011-5(1).jpg

Peace Prep and oaksATL put together its first official athletic team this fall, a under-7 soccer team. Game 1, our kids scored their first goal a few minutes after the whistle blew. You'd expect kids to be jumping in the air cheering ecstatically. Not our kids. They looked around with blank expressions on their faces. Almost dazed. No smiles. Unsure of what emotion to feel.

For youth in our community, most haven't had too many moments of being celebrated in life or being cheered for. As the faithful parents, teachers, and coaches on the sidelines cheered for our kids, it became evident they didn't know how to respond.

It wasn't until nearly halfway through the season, we began to see small glimpses of a smile when someone scored a goal or made a great play. We ended up having a "defeated season". Yes, we lost every game. And, even though we lost every game, we saw tremendous transformation in the way the kids viewed themselves and their teammates.

Traveling home one Saturday in the team van, I began to hear some laughter in the back seat; then some joking; I even saw a few smiles. They were having fun together. They were becoming a team. You could sense our kids were feeling like they accomplished something; like they were a part of something - a team, their school, a community. I noticed they even starting walking with their heads held a little higher. During the last game of the season 6 goals were scored, a season high! Our U7 soccer team might not have won a single game, but God used this season to build character and further shape the future for our youth.

Thank for your continual support and giving our kids the opportunity to play soccer, be a part of a team, get a taste of accomplishment, and to be celebrated. Thank you also to FCA Urban Soccer for your support and the opportunity to be a part of your soccer community.

Matt Maxwell
English Avenue Site Director