They had never played together before, never worn identical uniforms, but last Saturday those were just minor obstacles for eight DC SCORES alumni.
Playing in the St. Albans School Futsal tournament, the group of former DC SCORES poet-athletes came together quickly and formed a tight-knit team that played cohesively to win the extremely competitive eight-team high school event.
The eight kids representing rivals Wilson and Bell high schools lost their first game, 1-0 and then didn’t lose again. In the semifinals, they recovered from a 2-0 deficit to take down the perennial favorite French International School. In the championship game, they thoroughly outplayed Bullis School (of Potomac, Md.).
And, just like that, they were champions – only hours after putting on the same team shirts for the first time.
“It was amazing to bring together kids from six DC SCORES schools and see how they all had the same focus and goals,” said DC SCORES Athletic Director Kenny Owens, who coached the team.
“To see them achieve it at the end of the day and build relationships, it was fun to watch.”
All eight team members play for Wilson or Bell, who battle each year for the District’s high school championship. They also represent four current DC SCORES schools and two schools that used to have programming – Brightwood Education Campus, MacFarland Middle School, Oyster-Adams Bilingual School, Lincoln Middle School, Paul Public Charter School and Powell Elementary School.
The tournament was put on by St. Albans, and the setting was perfect. All the teams got along and enjoyed the atmosphere, win or lose. St. Albans has generously donated the same space for DC SCORES’ Soccer & Service Cup Feb. 19.
As for the new team of DC SCORES alumni, they hope to get more opportunities to continue to bond as a group on the soccer field.
Their first experience couldn’t have been any better.