This camp has been more than a training and team bonding experience. It was where we truly realized how special our team is. We’re not the strongest, fastest, or tallest, but we sure fight the hardest. While the other team’s bench is stiff and quiet, ours is cleared and pumping up our teammates on the field. We fought tooth and nail against every other team, and our younger guys, especially, feared no man or team. They would be twice our size, literally, and our guys would try to body them. This was a testament to what our coaches have pushed us to embody, and what our players have embraced.

The first day excitement was high. After moving into our dorms, we went straight to training. Coach Reuben put us to work with very focused and purposeful training. We were just starting to put ourselves together, and it took some time to get into the swing of it. Throughout that day, we were constantly reminded that we had to hydrate, and the heat we experienced in the afternoon’s training session proved it was a necessity. That night we played against two very good teams, and despite losing one and drawing the other, we all left with our heads high because we knew we outplayed the other team pound for pound.

The second day may have been the most memorable. It was a good start in the morning because we got to play on the soccer field instead of the five minute drive to the football field. Coach TC started us with a very positive attitude, and made sure we maintained it. Our training always had purpose and we were constantly absorbing information that we can put to use this season and beyond. Coach TC, and all coaches for that matter, understood that it was important that the game transcended beyond good playing, and that we had to have fun to play good. After the morning, we came back to the dorms and began watching the FIFA World Cup game, and as our luck had it, the afternoon session was cancelled due to thunderstorms, so we got to finish watching the game. It was a nail biter to the end, with 10 of us cramped in one room watching it and the rest hooping and hollering watching the game in the lobby, That night, Coach TC changed our formation, and instead of falling apart under confusion, we adapted to it in the first half and maintained possession. We were organized, efficient, and sharp. Again, we lost both games, but the result mattered very little to us when Coach TC revealed how special we were as a team to him and that he’d had the most fun coaching us in years. He genuinely spoke it through his physical expression as well, and we all left very impressed and with a newfound confidence in ourselves. He even wanted to take a picture with the team.

The third day our bodies were starting to feel it, but we pushed through and Coach Sutherland made good use out of us. He pushed the transition aspect of the game, and as evidenced in that night’s games, we learned a lot from it. The JV game was played almost entirely by our youngest players, and the other team had almost their full varsity squad in by the end of the game, but our guys fought through it. We were sacrificing our bodies and pushing our minds. Coach TC came and watched our game, and afterwards we had a party. Sparklers, pizza, candy, it was the whole shebang. We were left feeling very satisfied with our performance. we were also very thankful to our coaches for making the environment as fun as it was, and our session coaches for being so positive and embracing our team so much.

Now it’s our last day, and we’re still going to go hard. We’ve given it our all, for our coaches, for our school, and most importantly, for each other. We had our fun, watching soccer and having Fortnite sessions, but we also handled business, and did so with class. Overall, a big win for our team. We’ve been saying it all along, and our session coaches repeated it, Kentucky better watch out because Frederick Douglass is coming.

-Drew

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