Yesterday our Atlanta Soccer Association U12 “Shockers” got trounced. We got beat fair and square by better developed and experienced athletes.

But, I think Haley Anne played a pretty good defensive game. She ran with speed and confidence. She shut down the Forwards coming down her side of the field every time and cleared the ball with a solid foot that demonstrates more skill and strength each week.

We have two designated team Captains. Allie Patron and Marissa “Mars” Twitchell are the two oldest and most experienced players on our squad. After the game they came up to me and stated they felt Haley Anne should be a Captain too. “She’s really good” said Mars. “She deserves it” said Allie. When I thought about it I realized that Haley Anne really is growing into herself. She is directing teammates and working hard to be a good example.

So, today we went to Totally Soccer in Cumming, and picked up her Captains patch.

That little premature baby that fit into my palms and spent the first week of her life in an incubator is emerging as a beautiful young lady and a leader.

Our Atlanta Soccer Association U6 “Power” really took it to Club compatriots “Rangers”. Just before half-time I pointed out to the combined squads preparing for a kick-off that the “Power” and the “Rangers” were playing together. So, that might mean we were all “Power Rangers”! Most of them thought that was pretty cool. Unfortunately, Alex, a member of the Rangers was not happy with the manner in which his turf shoes were tied. So, he just couldn’t be bothered with anything.

In any event, Emma Jo scored another goal. This is particularly note worthy because Emma Jo likes practice, but is some what ambivalent about games. She just happens to like her team mates.

But then something magical occurred…

Later, in the 3rd quarter Emma Jo got to do a corner kick. She got the ball moving in the general direction of the goal and it bounced off of John Harmon’s (near the far post) foot (or, maybe it was his knee). The ball then found itself sort of spinning in front of the goal. It seemed like ages (especially for Coach Brian) that the ball sat in front of the net. Then almost as it it was an after thought, Sara Diefenderfer punched it (left footed no less) straight into the back of the goal. The sidelines erupted! A classic and text book example of a corner kick score – and, certainly worthy of the English Premier League itself!

But, the best part is Emma Jo sprinting to me with her arms wide-open for the big hug – but also yelling “Daddy! We did it together. We did it as a team”!

I love being a Daddy.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork