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Monday, April 25, 2011

Soccer in the cold rain: Alumni Tournament a huge success despite weather

Friday afternoon couldn’t have been much worse of an April day in the District. Frigid temperatures and consistent rainfall made it one of those days best spent indoors.

Unless, of course, you were a DC SCORES alum.

Despite the miserable weather, close to 100 high school students showed up at Tubman Elementary School excited about the first DC SCORES Alumni Soccer Tournament.

Alumni representing 18 DC SCORES schools split up by school onto eight teams. There were two Lincoln teams. An Oyster-Adams team. Even teams representing schools that no longer have DC SCORES programming.

Participants came from east of the Anacostia River and north D.C. No one wanted to miss this opportunity, regardless of the weather.

And even kids who weren’t playing came out during their spring break to cheer on classmates and reunite with friends.

“It totally speaks to the connection the kids have with the program and having a safe place to come and play soccer,” said Athletic Director Kenny Owens.

“It speaks to how their experience with DC SCORES has been positive.”

DC SCORES staff members set up the goals and tents under which non-participants futilely tried to stay warm. Otherwise, the event was run by the high school students.

No referees were needed. Before each game on three short fields, the teams got together to agree on their own set of rules such as throw-ins and corner kicks. Then the whistle blew, and the fun began.

In the end, Lincoln prevailed over Oyster-Adams to win the tournament. But everyone left Tubman having enjoying the competition and camaraderie and looking forward to the next alumni event.

“I definitely realize there is a need for more tournaments like this and opportunities for (alumni) to play soccer,” Owens said.

“Hopefully this is the start of something bigger.”

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