Rush Nero B02 Fall 2016

“Who do they have over there evaluating talent if James didn’t even make the D team, and the team he’s a top player on destroys them?”

My son’s Rush team beat the almighty Surf in the last game of the fall 2016 season today: 6-1. In a previous match, Rush won 3-1, my son scoring the final goal.

There’s a bit of history between my son and Surf. Last spring, he tried out for the newly formed Premier league, merging NW Nationals and FC Alliance. All his friends assumed James would be a shoe-in. So did his former soccer coaches.

Instead, for the first time in the history of Premier leagues, our pre-registration info and fee were lost in the system before tryouts even began. Nobody at Surf could figure it out. My son insists it cost him a slot, but I found that hard to believe since the staff handled the rest of the registrations manually. As long as he had a number attached to his info, he had a fair shot, right?

Whatever the reason, he never made Surf, not even the D team, beaten quite easily by Rush today. A coach from Surf was supposed to call us to let us know either way, but nobody did. I had to call Surf, then deal with the D team coach who emailed me instead about my son “Caleb” and confirmed that “Caleb” could try out for a few practices to see if he could possibly make the team after the fact.

After James took a pass, he’d hoped to make the Rush A team, but didn’t.

One coach believed in him, though. Coach Johann asked James to head up the B team. After a lengthy, emotional discussion, James agreed.

For reasons that are beyond me, that coach is no longer with Rush. But his faith in my son meant everything. There were times in the fall season that tested my son’s faith in himself. One of the only reasons he kept fighting was that amazing coach, who saw something nobody else bothered to see during tryouts, something that was evident to the rest of us.

That coach saw a champion, a kid who never gave up, a leader who lit a fire under every player, even the ones others dismissed as a lost cause, a player who didn’t have to be a star, a player who dispensed justice and took all the shit, a baller who bled for the game without flinching.

Today, the Rush Nero B02 team came together and played the game of their lives, finishing strong with a 6-1 win and a respectable (considering the circumstances) season… justifying Johann’s faith in each and every one of them.

When my son injured his ankle on a clutch defensive move in the first half, the rest of the team stepped up and filled in the gaps, giving up only one goal. Players who’d never gotten near the net before goaled like crazy.

Johann would’ve been proud.

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