The day began in complete darkness, just an empty soccer field in NE Washington, DC. It ended with the same empty bed of green grass under a blue sky pocked with the puffiest of clouds.
In between 6:30am and 2:30pm, something happened. Something really BIG.
The 19th Annual DC SCORES Fall Frenzy took over the athletic fields at Trinity Washington University Saturday, bringing nonstop soccer games and a host of other sports and arts activities to more than 1,000 elementary school program participants.
The day began with two and a half hours of setup, was followed by a call-and-response with all the teams at 9:20am, and then a 1-2-3 DC SCORES!!! And action.
From there, every DC SCORES team -- all kids and coaches proudly wearing their jerseys, the colors ranging from neon pink, to dark blue, from neon green, to yellow, you get the point; the teams covered the spectrum -- rotated between activities.
Six soccer games at a time were played on the main Trinity field. Up the hill, two more games were conducted at a time. And down the hill, on the lower level, teams switched between an event-record 11 stations all run by DC SCORES program partners and volunteers.
Relay races. Dodgeball. A soccer skills station. Poetry writing. Coloring and drawing. The shooting accuracy station. Facepainting. Picture-taking with D.C. United mascot Talon. And even autographs with DCU players Charlie Horton and Chris Korb.
The event wouldn't have been at all possible without the incredible support of 160-plus volunteers, many representing the dozens of SCORES partner groups who came out to help. From Safeway's huge truck arriving in the morning to deliver loads of water bottles, to AmeriHealth DC's table with lots of healthy goodies for the kids, to the George Washington Swim & Dive team -- the entire team -- picking up trash all over the grounds and breaking down goals to aid a quick exit after the kids were gone, our partners basically ran Fall Frenzy.
Here's a full list of Fall Frenzy partners. Thank you again!
CBRS American University
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Edmund Burke School
Kappa Alpha Theta
The Field School
GWU Phi Delta Psi
GWU Men's Swimming and Diving
GWU Men's Soccer
Hogan Lovells US LLP
Howard University Alpha Phi Omega
November Project DC
Promontory Financial Group
Trinity Washington University
If you asked any kid their favorite part of Fall Frenzy, you'd likely get a different answer. Many, of course, said the soccer. They relished the chance to not just play, but take on new teams from all over Washington, DC (during our regular game days, teams don't travel too far for games because of late school dismissals and traffic). Others loved the relay races. Others showed off their "Messi" facepainting. And at the end of the day, kids rushed to the table where Horton and Korb sat, handing them shoes and anything elee for autographs. Talon, obviously, was another big hit.
The action-packed day left kids, and their families, exhausted as the field quickly cleared at 2:30pm, the goals, booths and people gone within 30 minutes. By 3pm, it was as if nothing had even happened.
Those who experienced it know much better. Here's some photo evidence.
FALL FRENZY 2016 BY THE NUMBERS
- 1,000+ kids
- 160+ volunteers
- 96 soccer games
- 22 partner groups
- 11 activity booths
- 1 mascot