Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
We have been on this journey for several years. The soccer rockstar has had a passion for the game since kinderkickers...5 years old and he was already a standout on the field. It was so much fun to watch him play offense and defense while other kids were picking dandelions. Simply amazing.
We were finally able to try out for the travel team at U9. I had been approached by a few parents (who were former players themselves) with regards to Chris attending tryouts. The only thing I knew about the rep program was that two years prior, my oldest was eligible but he lost interest. So we attended the tryouts and he made the team, later named CDSA FIRE. The connections he made through this program are a blessing. These boys (now U14) have been playing together for 5 years. Some have come and some have gone, but they will always have that bond. It stays with you for a long time.
Last year, at U13, the boys made it to Regionals after capturing the State Championship title. July 12, 2011 an article was written about Christopher prior to their trip up north for regionals. (I found this article in October.)
Chris McPoyle, Central Delaware SA Fire (DE), U13, Forward:Chris scored 5 goals in 5 games during CDSA Fire's run to the U13 Delaware State Cup. The most important goal was the game winner midway through the second half of the championship game. After scoring the eventual game winner, Chris dropped back to defense to provide extra support helping his team to win its first State Championship.
Talk about blown away. I was speechless, while emailing the link to everyone I knew. We went on to be defeated in all three games at regionals, typical for the small state we come from. (Larger populations produce a player pool 10 times the size of ours...no exaggeration. Baltimore area tryouts bring up to 300 hopefuls where our area maybe gets 30.) But we played hard and we played to the end and we want to go back!
Chris was interviewed by the State Newspaper. This is what they posted:
The players were taking the coach’s message to heart and were upbeat after a loss to a team that went on to the U-13 Boys championship game.
“It was a great challenge for us because we’re not used to playing kids our age that are better than we are,” Fire forward Chris McPoyle said. “This should make us a lot better.”
After the newspaper interview, which dad and I were not a part of, Coach told us he was impressed with Chris' quote and hoped they used it word for word in the article. Even the reporter asked him if he was sure he was only 13.
Fast forward to summertime, mom is searching high and low for a soccer camp to take the first step in getting him seen. DC United. Philadelphia Union. All unattainable given the late search. However, we did have the opportunity to attend our first MLS match in Philly. The look on my boy's face when we walked into the stadium was priceless. His mantra during the entire game... "I need to be down there. I should be down there." And that's what we're going to give him. His dream.
During the Fall season we faced a lot of tough competition due to our State Champion title. That afforded us the opportunity to jump up a bracket in competition level. The boys worked hard. Sometimes they were successful, sometimes not. During one of our less successful games we traveled to Maryland. And took a pretty good loss. In the midst of all of that, Chris was grabbing the attention we are seeking. Both coaches from the other team (who beat us by a painful 6-0) spoke to Chris after the game. Where are we from? How far away is that? Are you on the State Team? (They were trying to recruit him!) One of the men even went so far as to ask Chris his name, and told him he would "remember" him...and that he'd be seeing more of him in the future. (MOMSQUEALS) The other told Chris he's one of the best players he'd seen in years. And that's nothing to sneeze at...this team that beat us so badly from MD...they are from a club that was formed by DC United professionals! Check them out here (MOMSQUEAL)
During the fall season we also packed in school soccer games. 11 of them to be exact. Chris scored 19 goals in those 11 games. During the Fall banquet his coach had some wonderful words to say about him. Everyone was called alphabetically by grade to get their medals...Chris was skipped. He was selected as MVP (for the second year in a row!)and was called last. The coach said, "he started in 6th grade, he started in 7th grade, and in 8th grade, he was just beast! He's definitely looking at a college scholarship." (FYI:previously UNHEARD OF accomplishment...starting varsity in 6th grade)
Fast forward...I got a message from our coach. Chris and two of his teammates were hand selected to play on a "dream team" tournament team. Based on what this coach had seen from his performance in the past, Chris was offered a position on this team which will be in 2-3 tournaments over the next several months. Our first weekend tournament is in NC in January! This tournament team plays venues that will provide even more exposure. Fast forward again, we try out for ODP. Two tryout dates. Both WAY cold. Chris was very hard on himself after the second day. First tryout was at home. Second weekend was 45 minutes away, and it only lasted for 45 minutes. It was brutally cold that day, but we were there. And then we waited. And today, I got the official notification:
Dear Christopher McPoyle:
Congratulations! You have been selected to participate in the Olympic Development Program (ODP) for the 2011-2012 season. This is a very special honor! By agreeing to participate, you will represent your state in activities designed to identify prospects for our Regional, Olympic and National teams, as well as for various colleges teams throughout the country.
There are no words that could adequately describe my joy. My pride. My desires. This is the first step in a long journey that will be his future. OUR future, because after all, there is nothing a mother wants more than to see her children achieve their dream...9 years and counting for this one...more than half his life.