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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Rival teams on the soccer field come together and build camaraderie during winter clinic

Written by Kara Dunford
Communications Intern

The Marie Reed Panthers filed into the gym, excited for a day of soccer alongside the Bancroft Bengals.

Marie Reed visited Bancroft as part of a DC SCORES soccer clinic. Winter programming provides participating schools with the unique opportunity to come together to play with each other and work on fundamental soccer skills in preparation for the spring season.

Kastenny C., a student at Marie Reed, said she wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from her time at Bancroft.

“Today I thought that we may kind of fight because we are rivals,” she said.

But it was teamwork, not rivalry, that proved to be the hallmark of the day.

The students were divided into four teams that featured a mixture of Panthers and Bengals. Then, it was time to play.

As the teams faced off in the gym, they received guidance from DC SCORES coaches on effective passing techniques and strategies. While the first few minutes of game play looked like unorganized chaos, the teams soon took the guidance to heart and began showing off some great passing skills.

I watched as Kastenny bonded with her new teammates, impressed by her ability to take direction from her Bancroft teammates as well as give direction of her own. It was clear that by coming together on a team, the Bancroft and Marie Reed students were able to cooperate and work as one.

Kastenny walked away from the clinic with a new skill.

“The other team taught be how to back pass. When I’m crowded, they taught me how to back pass while staying in place,” she said.

For Bancroft student Tatiana B., the clinic was less about soccer skills and more about interactions with her teammates.

“I learned that they support each other,” she said, adding that the encouragement from teammates made the game more fun.

In between soccer matches, the teams tried their hand at DC SCORES trivia, featuring tricky questions covering soccer rules, World Cup facts, and more. It was fun to see the team building on the field translate into cooperation in the classroom.

As winter SCORES draws to a close, the clinic proved that the season has equipped students with skills and experiences that will benefit them this spring. Whether it is the nutrition lessons that provided building blocks for a healthy lifestyle or the soccer clinics and practices that build team development and camaraderie, the lessons of winter programming will certainly help teams come game day this spring.

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