Wednesday, 8 October 2014



Pine Tree Post | Sports Page

A Positive Year for Summer Sports

You may recall last year's summer sports superstars - E had unmatched soccer success and Lolli retired from baseball after her fantastic rookie year. Even though they finished on a high note, there were many ups and downs.

2014 was a much different year. Only positives. No complaints about going, no 'when is it time to go home'...there were even a few 'really, it's over already!'
For ten weeks, almost every Monday in the summer of 2014, the citizens of the Place Under The Pine could be found out on the soccer pitch. Lolli and E took turns practising and scrimmaging with, what the English call, a football.

European Football
The rest of the crew would be nearby on a picnic blanket taking in every kick and goal. 

All ages were encouraged to play
They were part of an extremely well run program put on by Kingston City Soccer Academy. The coaches were professional players from Kingston FC who brought their passion and skills to share with the kids.
The set up was ideal for little ones. Broken down into 15 minute sections - 1 skill practise, 1 soccer game, 1 skill practise, 1 soccer game. This timing kept the kids from getting bored and picking flowers, but, also gave them a chance to work on both the basic skills and play a real game. The small two minute breaks in between gave the kids a chance to run over for some much needed water too.

Water break - insert Tim Horton's product placement
Switching over from baseball saw a real improvement in Lolli's participation. This year she was all over the field, running, kicking, working up a real sweat. Those drink breaks could not come soon enough. Even though scoring is not the true measure of success, she did put two in the net on the second last day - her best game of the year.

Mastering the dribble

The smiles were plentiful and the time spent with good friends are sure to be memories she will remember. There has been no confirmation we will see a sophomore soccer season from Lolli, but, the odds predict it.

Soccer pals

E also worked up a sweat. In fact, he like having wet hair so much he wanted to grow it longer to have more sweaty hair? 

He was a powerhouse on his team, being in on 10 of the teams 12 goals - putting in 8 himself (3/4 of the entire teams goals were from his foot)! E is a natural. Blessed with high sports IQ and great coordination. He is full of self determination and confidence on any sort of field, which he showed again this year. He was the leader in his small group and looked to be in the top percentage of all the players in the program. 

E blasts past the defender on his way to the net
He is looking forward to kicking the ball again in 2015.

Soccer clean up was sometimes just as fun as the games
Ice cream on the front step after the game was enjoyed by all


Some New Accomplishments this Fall

Hockey has been on E's mind since he was a toddler. He took a liking to it instantly and was found watching Hockey Night in Canada before he could even skate. This fall E took to the ice, bundled in equipment, hockey stick in hand, and full of his usual self confidence.
The first skate was an evaluation, allowing coaches to rank skills and make up balanced teams. The program was made up of first timers, like E, and second year kids who have some experience under their blades. To onlookers it was quickly apparent who the second years were and who the first years were. Being a first year, E found himself trailing behind the pack, a position he is not used to being in.
Was this a blow to his self esteem?

His first comment when he stepped off the ice was...'did you see how fast I was! If I didn't have all of this equipment on I would have been the fastest out there!" 
So, no, this did not damage his confidence one bit. In fact, it seemed to motivate him. A challenge he is sure he can match. 
Only two weeks later he is back to being at or near the front, at this point powered by pure determination and sweat. But, if this sport is like any other E has taken up, the skill will come soon enough and he will be leading the way again.

A sniper and part of the crunch crew - that's his goal

True to form, in the first game the team played, E scored a goal. One of many, I'm sure, will come. 

Blue and Yellow are his colours this season
Fun fact: E is #12 again (same number as soccer and same number Lolli had in T-Ball)

Unlike E, Lolli does not have the same level of competitiveness when it comes to sports. Academics, yes, she puts time and effort in to being at the top of her class and has remained there since she started school. Sports, especially team sports, have never really been of much interest to Lolli. However, this fall she tried something new, an individual sport - cross country running. Her parents, teachers, and other adults all predicted she would be a natural. Her active lifestyle, energetic personality, and long legs make a good foundation for a runner. All fall she took her training very serious, making sure she had the right equipment every running day. She even practised on weekends. When the day of try outs came she was ready.
To qualify for the team, her age category had to run around the track four times without walking. She did it.
Only a handful of kids in her age group made it on to the team. They qualified to run in the next round, which meant taking a bus out to the Westbrook Golf course and competing against a bunch of other local schools.
The race day was windy and cloudy with the constant threat of rain. This only heightened the already electric atmosphere, and, some believe, made the kids run faster.  

The start of a running career
Right from the starting shot O found her ideal pace, which at the beginning of the race when many of the other girls were sprinting, turned out to be a speed that put her near the back of the pack. However, by the last corner she had moved up and had the energy left to sprint past multiple racers and finish in a respectable 72nd out of 150-160 kids. Pretty impressive for a first timer.

Faster than a high speed camera!
With a smile on her face she confirmed she would race again, in the spring, and next fall. O may have found her sport?

Kingston | 13:35

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