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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Alumni Tournament 2017: Intense competition with old friends

Written by Dahlia Chaudhury
Communications Intern

The mood was high as the almost 200 DC SCORES alumni flooded into the Tubman Elementary School field.

Tuesday marked the 7th annual DC SCORES Alumni Tournament, an event held for former participants of the program to play with their old teammates and competitors.

Students created teams of about 11 to play small-sided 6 v 6 games in intense competition. The competition didn't keep students from smiling and hugging all their old friends, though!

The games were played World Cup style: 4 groups of 4 teams played round robin for the first matches, then there were semi-finals, quarter-finals, and a final. Even when teams didn't make it to semi-finals, they stayed to watch the end of the tournament and cheer on their peers.

One could tell that the alumni of DC SCORES love soccer. Seeing the skill level of the graduates of the program is almost unbelievable, especially when you know that some of these students had never played soccer before playing with DC SCORES.

In between games, I grabbed some alumni to talk to them about their DC SCORES experiences and what they are up to now:

A current high school senior, Eduardo, told me that DC SCORES was his first exposure to soccer, "DC SCORES helped me find a love for the game and figure out what I really wanted to do." He and his teammate Ibrahim, also a DCS alum, are planning to play college soccer at West Virginia Wesleyan College next fall.

Stephanie Cruz, an alumni who now attends Trinity Washington University, told me, "DC SCORES helped me build my leadership up and my sportsmanship and really taught me how to work and play with a team." Her sister, Jocelyn, said "A big thing [for me] was getting out of my comfort zone and trying new things."

After lots of hard-fought games, The Hollow Squad was victorious and they were named Alumni Tournament Champions. The winners were given Chipotle gift cards, and both finalists received tickets to an upcoming D.C. United match.

All in all, the event was a huge success. It brought old friends back together and reconnected them through the sport they all love. Thanks to Greta, Coach Popsie, and our sponsors for helping make the day as enjoyable as it could be for our poet-athletes. As our alumni network continues to grow, so will Alumni Tournament, and we can't wait!

Full photo album here.

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