Thursday, November 8, 2012

Super Spastic Supper Frogs

The Super Frogs Pee Wee Soccer team, led by the young standout Dylan Hanna, dominated in league play this year and earned a chance to defend the coveted Scott Valley Golden Chalice.  They hosted previously unbeaten Manchester United at the hallowed grounds of Etna Elementary.  After 90 minutes of intense play, the score was a draw.  In an extra-time shootout, Hanna remarkably scored all 8 goals to seal the win and defat the English powerhouse.  Ok, I admit, this is the fantasy press release I wrote as my mind drifted after watching four and five-year olds swarm around a soccer ball like feeding time in a hog barn.

For some reason, I thought that since Dylan was a year older, her new team would act like mature five-year olds and fall in love with the "beautiful game."  The first clue things would be 2011, part II, came in the very first game.  At one point I counted half our players practicing summersaults while the other team dribbled the ball downfield.  The Super Frogs weren't in the middle of a goal celebration, they were just prematurely getting ready for gymnastics season.

In one particularly lopsided match, the Super Frog's highlight was when the other team ran the ball the length of the field (again), set up for a score, shot, and ... no goal.  Our goal keeper had pulled both goal cones and put them on his head, then ran off.  The other team was awarded the first ever Pee Wee soccer free-kick at goal.  That tactic worked, though.  It slowed the other team down and got in their heads enough to prevent them from scoring for a full minute.

The Frogs had a small identity crisis -- that may be the only way to explain their season.  The team sponsor, printed on the back of their green jerseys, was a family no one had heard of (rare in Scott Valley).  The coach finally admitted that the name was misspelled.  On the team photo, they were the "Supper Frogs" (Frog, it's what's for dinner.), and in all reality, they should have been called, "Please Keep Your Hands to Yourself," because that's what the coach had to remind the team fifty times a game.

When Dylan wasn't trying to tackle her own teammates, or practice rolling, or eat grass, she seemed to enjoy soccer and is actually pretty good.  A player's dad from another team was impressed with her ability to clean out a ruck by physically pulling players away from the ball.  Illegal? Maybe.  Using rugby skills in soccer? Awesomely definitely.

Conversations with Dylan on the way home from matches generally were along the lines of: You did a great job in the fourth quarter, but we realllllly need you to stop tackling your teammates.  It makes your coach sad.  And remember, the five candy bar deal from last year?  That still stands (1 goal = 5 candy bars).  But, in the end, the Super Spastic Supper Frogs had fun, got to be silly, drank lots of after-match Capri Suns, and ate granola bars.  To a bunch of five-year olds who don't keep score, what else matters?  Maybe Dylan should remind her dad of that once in a while, as long as he hasn't zoned out, writing fictitious press releases about the heroics of a young squad from Etna.

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