Soccer. The very word brings up so much memories of my younger days. The days when I played AYSO Soccer for about 4 years. In all honesty, I completely hated the sport. It was definitely fun when I was younger and had VERY different ideas of what was fun, but as I got older, the sport just didn’t have the same appeal that it used to. Id say the only memorable year of playing was the last year that I played. Fifth grade year.
The year was 2012. Hurricane Sandy had hit a few weeks ago, and by then everything in our town was back the way it was. In fact, the Hurricane is the only reason that I can narrow the date down. Soccer was supposed to go on as planned. It was our teams turn to play on the fields at the Monroe schools, due to our town’s lack of teams on the AYSO league.
Me and my brother were some of the first people to arrive at the field, the first person being our coach, Coach Miles (obviously). One of his sons were on the team we were playing on, and he was also in my grade. We kicked a ball around to warm up as we waited for the rest of the team to arrive. Pretty soon they all had arrived, and we were ready to begin playing.
Our team won the coin flip that determined who kicked off, so we went to our positions. We all got in a huddle as the coach called us in to tell us our game plan. Me and my brother were the first people to sit out of the game so both teams had an even number of players. We didn’t mind, in fact, we were pretty happy. Our hatred for the sport had already started to develop by that time.
Me and my brother sat down on the grass. It was wet with all the dew that had settled in the morning. It kind of made our shorts uncomfortable to sit in. We sat there for a few minutes watching the game. When 5 minutes had passed, I saw the other team had subbed out their people and replaced them with people sitting on the sideline. Oh, I thought, we must be getting subbed in soon. So I waited for our Coach to sub us in. We waited. And waited. And waited. And then… nothing happened. It was about 10 minutes into the game and we still hadn’t been subbed in. Okay, I thought, What’s with the wait?
“Coach, when are one of us getting subbed in?”
“Soon.” That was all coach said while he watched the game. His arms crossed, not moving at all.
Suddenly, two whistle blows came from across the field, signifying the end of the first 15 minutes of the game. I was shocked. 15 minutes?!? That was how long we had been sitting out of the game for? Well, I thought, we’re probably getting subbed in at the start of the next quarter. Right?
Again, we were the still on the sidelines. The rest of the team was out on the field playing the game, kicking the ball around. And we just sat there. It had been a full 15 minutes, and we were wondering what was going on. About 5 minutes into the next quarter, my brother was subbed in, finally allowing one lucky kid to get a well deserved water break. It also meant my brother was finally going to play the game.
But that still left me…
The fact how my brother was starting to play didn’t change the fact how I still hadn’t played, or the fact how it took 20 minutes for my brother to finally be subbed in. All that there was to do now was wait to be subbed in. If I was going to be subbed in.
Soon, 3 whistle blows indicated the end of the first half, or the second quarter. Now this definitely blew my mind. Had I really been sitting out for a full 30 minutes, while 90% of my team had been playing the whole time with one water break? Looking at my team’s faces as they approached for a water break showed they weren’t happy…
Suddenly, a wild dad appeared from the right side of my peripheral vision. It was my dad, in fact. I didn’t know how he had crossed the field from the parents side over to where we were so quickly. In fact, I was in some shock and I was barely able to process what my dad said next.
“You will NOT keep my sons out of the game that long ever again!”
I was shocked, barely able to process it. My dad yelling at the coach. Sure, I was a little angry at the coach for keeping me out so long but I wasn’t THAT mad. I looked again and saw my dad simply walk back to the parents side to spectate the remaining portion of the game.
Everybody went home feeling some form of anger. I went home a little mad about how long I’d been sitting out, and my dad was really mad about it. The team was mad because I’d been sitting out for 30 minutes, doing absolutely nothing while they worked hard and tried to win a game. My coach was definitely mad, as he had been yelled at in front of us and the parents on the sidelines. It wasn’t a good day for anyone, and although I was glad the worst part of the day was done, I wasn’t excited to go back next week.