Moh 1 Hensley Moh English 110 Marion Bruner 09/07/2011

My Most Memorable Soccer Competition Back in my country, we have small communities which are made of smaller neighborhoods. I grew up in a neighborhood which had many people of my age group.

We shared so much together like studying, going to church, visiting places and much more . We always played on the street since there were no competitions for kids of our age group, and it was really sad. All competitions in our area were for guys from 17 years and above.We always played amongst ourselves, but we really loved to play as a team against other teams. Also, all teams that participated in the competitions were not just teams but clubs that had a coach with formation centers where they did their training. We had no hopes of competing with such well trained teams.The good thing about us was that we all had great ambitions. We always discussed our goals while hanging out at night, though our parents did not like us staying out for long. We had this particular area in front of one of my friend’s house where we always sat, made jokes and had a lot of good times. One day after we came back from watching a match , we went back to our normal gathering area and we were talking and someone said “can’t we register for this competition?” . Everyone remained calm for a moment and another person said “ Are you kidding, we can’t even win a match if we register.” Then the rest of us agreed with him that we would not be able to go through the first round. The strange thing is we were always saying we will try and register for a competition , but now the opportunity came and everyone was afraid. That day everyone Moh 2

went back home shamefully and we all thought about it. Actually that day I could not sleep because it was disturbing my every moment. I thought to myself that we always hoped to play against other teams. It was a great opportunity for us to play, and we were not to allow it go. The next day we met and the first words that came out from everybody’s mouth was that we should register since it was not too late for us to register for this competition. When we went to register, people were laughing at us since we were far younger than most of the players participating in the tournament, but we were not discouraged. Even the registrar saw us and asked us if we really wanted to participate .We gave the name of our team as Stone city since we had rocks everywhere in our neighborhood. We also asked a certain guy a little older than we were to be our coach, eventhough he didn’t know anything about coaching. We had to get him since every team was required to have a coach. The day came for our first match. We trained the whole time the day before. Another good thing about us was that we played for fun not just to win. Our main foundation was that everyone played collectively. We knew our game since we all grew up playing soccer together. When we went , most of the girls from our neighborhood refused to come and watch the match because they knew that we were going to be destroyed by our opponents. We were dressed with different jerseys and some of us did not even have soccer shoes while our opponents were well equipped from head to toe. When we came to the stadium all the spectators were so surprised because our adversaries were bigger than us. Our team’s age range was from 13 to 16, while the other team’s youngest player was about 17 years old. Surprisingly, we scored the first goal at the beginning of the match and everybody was shocked. We celebrated this goal as if it was the last match. It gave me courage and hope that we could make it. Even our opponents were totally surprised because they neglected our capabilities. They became serious and that’s when the match became really tough , but we were able to keep the score to the end of the first half. At the second half they equalized and it was level, but yet we scored a goal just before the end of the match. we won the game! All the spectators were amazed

through out the match and we went back home joyfully though we had some small injuries because the match was really tough.

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We then made it through the first round , won all our other matches and reached the finals which was something nobody could ever imagine, not even us. It looked like a dream, but it was real. At the finals, our parents came and the other clubs were there to watch the match. The stadium was full of spectators and journalists were there to televise the game. There was a lot of tension at that moment; so much that I had to go wash my face twice. We gave the opening goal and added another goal at the second half. Unluckily, our rivals equalized the two goals at the last four minutes of the game. It was really painful when I think of that time. We then went to extra time and nobody scored , so we had to go to penalty kicks. We had never trained on penalty kicks before , so we were so confused at that moment. Unfortunately for us we lost in the penalty kicks by 3 goals to 2. We all fell on the ground crying because we really had to win that match. Then I told my friends that we don’t need to cry because we had never hoped of playing against real clubs, not to talk of reaching the finals. Everybody started clapping for us because we were the best through out the tournament though we were younger and our team was not a real club, but just a group of neighborhood friends. But the truth is sports is not just about being the best, but also making the effort. This event has really good memories I will never forget. Though we lost the finals , we were very happy for taking that great step of forming a team and playing against well trained teams with players older than we were in a tournament of that level. This tournament opened a lot of opportunities for many of us. Three of us were invited to participate in a recruiting centre, but our parents did not approve because it was during school period. This tournament really changed our perception of playing soccer, though we still kept our spirit of unity. Most of us started playing with more confidence in ourselves than before.

The next year, we registered for a different competition. We maintained our team’s name and got a new coach. This experience in particular motivated me a lot. I now Moh 4 developed some new views in the way I approached any other competition, not only in soccer .

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