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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Seaton and Marie Reed elementary schools come together on same team for soccer clinic

Written by Kristen Miano
Digital Media Intern

The weather outside was freezing cold, but inside the Marie Reed gym, things were just warming up.

The Panthers gathered in small circles, playing a game called “Head or Catch” with DC SCORES staff members Carlos Fonesca and Zachary Gomes. The students caught or headed soccer balls thrown to them —  with only a second to decide! —  based on instructions shouted by the coach in the middle of the circle.

As Marie Reed warmed up for its final soccer session of the six-week Winter SCORES season, the kids knew this one would be a bit different. The Panthers would be joined by Seaton Elementary School for a scrimmage. There was a catch, though.

The scrimmage was not going to be Reed vs. Seaton. Instead, the students were all mixed up and put onto multiple teams comprised of players from both school.

“What does 'clinic' mean?” Carlos asked the assembled soccer players, “It means we’re going to have fun!”

Each team took a moment for students from the schools to introduce themselves and pick a team name. Though the students seemed a little hesitant initially to play with teammates they had never met before, that quickly melted away when the whistle was blown and the first ball rolled out.

“I’m kind of shy, so I was nervous,” said Elizabeth M., age 9, of Seaton. “But they’re nice and I’m having fun.”

Orquidea B., age 9 of Reed, said she had similar feelings at first, but thought meeting new people was fun.

“The clinic is cool today because we get to play with Seaton,” Orquidea said.

Each team took the field for 10 minutes, rotating around the gym so they had a chance to play against everyone. The din of soccer balls pounding against walls and players shouting encouragement and directions to each other was so loud, it was often hard to hear when the time period was up.

So though there was no clear winner in the Seaton vs. Marie Reed scrimmage, it was clear that the games they played brought these schools and communities together through something they both love — soccer.

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