Sunday, May 18, 2008

Jake's Diner Spiders

The soccer team had their last game yesterday. They started up the season so well, winning their first three games and only giving up one point. But, then they placed them up against not one but two traveling teams. They were soundly beat twice and came into their last game without the confidence that they had shown in the first three games.

Jay was in the box in the first half and by the time I arrived had already let one by. Shortly thereafter, another one got by him and we were down by two goals. The coach put Reese up front to help us with the scoring and with Jayden blocking shot after shot and Reese coming through with two goals, we were tied by half time and at least the parents were confident in us coming through in the second half. Jay and Reese both had quite a few shots on goal but we just could not get anything in.

In the last video that I shot, Jay was up against four defenders and the goalie. He shot over the goalie and bounced off of the inside of the goal. Now, by my knowledge of the rules, if the front of the ball passes the plain then it is a goal. I shouted out, "That's a Goal!". Storming up the sidelines, I pleaded my case with my daughter and wife. A couple of parents along the sidelines asked me why it was such a big deal. "Because it bounced off the inside of the goal. That means the ball passed the plain and it should be a goal!". I then realized just how crazy I probably looked. I walked over to them and said, "Don't mind me. He is my grandson and I am just a crazed overprotective grandfather.". They all laughed and one of them said, "He is lucky to have you.". Now that was just exactly the ego builder that this grandpa needed and I proudly walked back to my grandpa coaching spot and assumed my position. Meanwhile, the other team had taken the ball down the field right after the missed shot and got their own goal. 3-2.

With the ball out just next to me, Jay went to throw it in. "You can do it, buddy.", I told him. " I know Papa.", he said. This seemed to charge him up and he threw the ball into Reese. Running towards the goal, Reese passed it up to Jay. Jay faked the goalie into thinking he was kicking left and popped it over into the right side of the goal. "Yes!", I screamed until I heard the whistle. "Offsides!", yelled the ref. I looked down the sidelines and those same parents asked me if it was. Yes, I nodded my head. The other team took the ball down the field just the same as they had before and it was soon 4-2. Just as quickly, it was 5-2 and we were hurting.

But Jay, Reese, and the Spiders did not give up. Jay broke away down the middle of the field. Seeing Reese in front, he popped it over his head and Reese promptly nailed the goal. 5-3. Almost immediately, Jay stole the ball again and broke down the right side of the field. Breaking away from the defenders, only the goalie was in front of him. Seeing the goalie come out, he calmly popped it over his head and into the goal. 5-4.

But time just wasn't on our side and a minute or so later, the final whistle sounded and the Spiders season was over. As I walked off of the field, I was still ranting that Jays goal should have stood and the score would be different. We all met at the diner for a little celebration and for the coach to give out his awards. I really appreciated the coach this year. He was extremely positive and encouraging. When placed against the traveling teams, he coached the team to keep their head up and just play fairly and smartly.

I noticed that Jay had placed a sign at the front of the diner directing the kids to the deck area. It was truely a Jayden sign.

I took the coach to the side and told him how much I had appreciated his positive attitude and then took the opportunity to plead my case with him on the goal. "Lyle, you are wrong.", he corrected. " The complete ball has to cross the plain.". I promptly thanked him and immediately stopped my rant.

The boys all chowed down on cheese sandwiches, corn dogs, chicken nuggets, and fries. And me, well I just ate a little crow.

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