I got your back. Standing in for those in need. You can count on me. I love you, Dad. Mottos for this weekend with meaning in more ways than one, representing the U12 Rancho Cucamonga Flames as they fulfilled another goal in their journey this season: Making it to the final match of the Sun ‘N Surf Tournament in Huntington Beach, California, on Father’s Day.
With awesome and gracious guest player Nathan by our side last weekend, we headed into pool play at 10:00 am Saturday morning against North Redondo. This was no doubt our easiest game of the season, and it ended with a final winning score of 8 to 0.
Next up, a 4:00 pm test with Chino Hills. We passed, with a score of 2 to 1. So with excitement and anticipation for Sunday looming, these young seals headed to Huntington Beach too for dinner and relaxation in the sand and around the fire pit. Our Flames camps are always voluminous, and this beach party was ruled by Flames boys and girls.
At 10:00 am Sunday morning it was time for Game 3 of pool play. We were playing Corona, and we were playing well. We scored one goal, a winning goal, while Corona remained pointless on the board. Ending score: 1 to 0. We had won all three games. More wonderfully, these three wins put Flames on a seven-game winning streak, and they weren’t ready to give it up in the championship match that lay ahead.
But the possible roadblock foreseen was that our combatant was Palos Verdes, a team that had stopped us months before during semifinals in San Pedro. In our hearts we knew we were a better team; we knew we had improved greatly; we knew we could conquer them.
To sum it up, the game started off with two very quick goals within minutes of start time. Flames and families were shocked. It set us back mentally for a time, but we pushed forward knowing we had plenty of time to overcome and rise up. Our Flames pressured and kept trying to make a recovery, but unfortunately we never overcame the team that we could have so easily taken down. I just know it. We ended up scoring once; Palos Verdes took two more. Final score: 1 to 4.
The RC Flames U12 Boys were more than happy to hold that 2nd-place medal in their hands. They were on fire all weekend, mentally, physically. They know they are an unstoppable, hugely talented group of players with a secret bag of plays and tricks they diligently and confidently display for us on the sidelines. It’s amazing to watch them work their wonder.
The younger boys will head down to San Juan Capistrano too and enter their final tournament of the 2010 AYSO Select soccer season, the Swallows Classic. We’ll again be fortunate to see those breathtaking ocean views and hold tight to these remaining few precious days as one big soccer family. Luckily, our schedules will allow all of the Flames to watch the USA soccer match against Ghana in South Africa.
Life is good.
Final stop: Swallows Classic, San Juan Capistrano, California, June 26th and 27th, 2010. GO FLAMES!!!
Grasping onto the memory of these warm summer nights of watching all the Flames learn their game, I can now say our Flames practices will be no more. I took this picture tonight after the U12 Parents vs. Players game. As they waved goodbye into the camera, I breathed the moment and reality in; this is the end of our journey. I will miss my Flames family and Noah will miss his dear friends.
“A journey is best measured in friends rather than miles.” ~ Tim Cahill