Jacqueline E.

True Stars of Massachusetts

Complete and utter bliss. Whatever was going wrong in my normal everyday life was of no importance every Monday, Thursday, and Sunday afternoon. The car ride to practices and games was half the fun. My good friend and teammate, Megan, and I would always carpool. What actually happened in the car is not clear, though flashes of singing and making fun of our moms in the front seat spring to mind. What I will never forget is the sound of laughter. When we arrived at the field for practice we’d always sneak up on our coach, waiting in his car, and scare him. His attempt at retaliation was making us carry the bag of soccer balls to the other side of the field, though we always managed to turn this job into a game.

Our relationship as a team of three was completely unexpected, but so perfect. Just the combination of Megan and myself was a little unexpected as Megan is very outgoing, whereas I am more shy. None of this mattered when we were at soccer though, as we immediately became the perfect personality combination. We understood everything that came out of the other’s mouth, while the rest of the team stared blankly at our explosive laughter. Now, adding our coach, Wayne, into the mix, we became a much more obscure group. This was the first season that he was our coach, and at the very beginning, he seemed rather shy, like myself, but soon started to relax. He was just a young British guy who’d come over from England to coach, and to play collegiate soccer. Our group of three was on a whole other level from the actual soccer team, which was no less amazing.

After finally getting the soccer balls to the other side of the field, we’d start juggling the ball using whatever body part would keep that ball off of the ground. Having the unusual relationship that we did, Megan’s and my goal was to cause Wayne to mess up, as he was always showing off his skill, trying to make us look bad. One time, he was juggling by himself and, of course, he was counting out loud to make sure that we could hear what a high number he was at. After many a hand signal, we both had the plan of attack down pat. We continued the conversation we were having so as not to raise any suspicion. We calmly lined the soccer balls with our target. Our timing was impeccable. Just as he was about to reach juggle number sixty, the ball was gone. Wayne just looked stunned as we screamed with delight at the unbelievable ingenuity of our plan. He tried to get us back throughout the rest of practice, but we were on our toes, able to dodge anything that came our way.

In a strange way, it was both a let down and an excitement when the rest of the team started arriving, as our time with just the three of us was so much fun. I did, however, have a close bond with each and every one of my other teammates. There was such an unusual combination of girls making up the U-15 Stars of Massachusetts soccer team, but we all got along and had a great time together. A few girls definitely stood out more than others, but the team would not have been the same with even one of the quieter girls missing. There was Lydia, the popular, outgoing girl; Sammy, the youngest girl, who always got into trouble; and Laura and Kristin, the quietest girls, but if they were in a group together, it was impossible for Wayne to get them to stop talking. Then, there were Janelle and Leana, the two girls from Billerica who you couldn’t help but love. They were best friends, but always found something to argue about like an old married couple. Janelle was the confident, talkative goalkeeper, and Leana was the quiet, focused, center midfielder. These are just six of the sixteen girls on the team, and they are already from many different “social groups” through the eyes of high school girls.

Okay, so we have this great coach, and an amazing bond, so we must be an amazing soccer team, right? Unfortunately, we were a very skilled, yet very unlucky team. Many of our games were lost by just one heartbreaking goal. We did, however, win the Virginia Tournament. On March 11, 2005, the whole team flew to Chesterfield, Virginia for the weekend. Being the only team in our division not from Virginia, we were the underdogs. We won two games, and tied the third, landing us a place in the finals. We were matched up against the team we had tied in a very tiring, physical game. This time though, it wasn’t so tough, and we ended up winning easily.

The highlight of this weekend away had to be our time spent together in the hotel. We spent the first night talking through corny TV movies, eating, and doing each other’s hair. My personal favorite part of each day was breakfast. We all came down to eat together in the hotel dining area and, having early games, we’d be wearing our uniforms. Our waiter, being a soccer fan and former goalie, entertained us by telling us stories of his past soccer experiences, giving us discounts and extra speedy service, and always sending us off with his best wishes. The next morning he would be desperate to hear how it all turned out. We checked out of the hotel before going to the finals, but one family went back to the hotel to let him know that we won; the whole hotel was excited to hear the news. The support we had throughout the season, especially from our parents was amazing, and the friendships, experiences, and memories will never drift from my mind.


Copyright 2002-2006 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose 2002-2006 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission. SPP developed and designed by Strong Bat Productions.