Jack Downing - Grade 9, Chaminade Julienne High School
Tweet Tweet. The halftime whistle blows. It’s the semi-finals for the first tournament of the season. Eight o’clock in the morning so the grass still has the dew from last night. I jog of the field, unstrapping my goalkeeper gloves. I turn to see my teammates walking off the field with their heads down as they kick the grass below them.
“Come on guys jog it off we have a whole other half to play,” I exclaim to them. They look up and slowly cycle their legs, creating a slight jog towards our coach. We are getting destroyed. It is tied zero to zero, but they are beating us in every aspect of the game. They have more possession, more shots, better passing, and they were all around playing like the better team and everyone knew it. I am playing the game of a lifetime. Seven saves in the first half alone. I know that I can’t keep the clean sheet if our team doesn’t pick it up. Our coach waits for the entire team to get to the sideline before giving us his speech on what to do better. After a few minutes, we walk back onto the field.
“Everyone on me!” I yell in the center of our half. Lazily, they jog it in and gather around me. “Look, I know we should be losing this game. All of us know it,” I begin, “but we still have a chance in this game. There is a reason we are still in this game and I believe in you guys. If we come out positively instead of acting like we already lost, I think we can beat these guys. We’ve heard of many underdog stories, that’s make our own. So go out there and let’s win a soccer game boys!” Cheers and claps come from the guys around me as we get a boost of enthusiasm.
We run to our positions. After the speech I now have confidence, my teammates have confidence, our team represents confidence. The whistle blows as the thirty five minute half starts. For thirty minutes no one has the advantage as we match every move they make. It is the last minute. We have a free kick right outside the box. I run forward to talk to the kicker.
“You can make it, trust me,” I say as I pat him on the shoulder, “Keep a positive attitude and you can do anything. Just put it in the net.”
I run back to our half and anxiously watch. He runs up to kick. The ball cuts through the air right into the top left corner of the goal. Our fans erupt as we celebrate with each other. The last minute passes and the final whistle blows. We had won the game. I know from this point on, if you stay positive and give the game everything you’ve got, anything is possible.