Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Mebane Striker

I often wonder if our kids know how truly lucky they are.

On our club teams, we are usually the "poorest" family on the team. I'm not sure if my kids know that but I think sometimes they can tell. But we manage to hold our own.

Living where we do makes it a lot easier to find the resources and training we need to develop a good soccer player. Sometimes when we are driving through the middle of BFE, I pause and ask my kids, how would you like to live here? Usually they are pretty much horrified. I stop and think about how much I complain about not having anyone to carpool with, and then think about how it would have been if I had lived in Moncure, or Mebane, or anywhere else in NC where I couldn't have gotten my kid to a halfway-decent club to play without a huge amount of effort (and gas.)

About 5 years ago my husband and I went in as partners on a tiny business in Mebane, NC. For some reason our children were afraid we were going to leave Chapel Hell and move to this teeny little town. We decided to play along and tell our then-12-year old son that he would have to change soccer clubs. We even went so far as to make him up a T-shirt that said "Mebane Striker."

He was concerned when he saw the shirt. "They forgot the 'S', " he said.

"No," we assured him. "You're it. You're the only kid who plays soccer in Mebane. You're the Mebane Striker."

"I hate you both," he said, not for the last time.

I guess he got over it.


Soccer Dad said...

HAHAHAHAHAHA I'm so blogging this.

Our soccer league formed just after the time you started your business. But the Mebane Striker shirt - how funny. Because, I swear, 5 years ago a bunch of Mebane parents (Maybe 16), frustrated that the town didn't have a soccer program, put together a tiny soccer program in the Fall of 2001. The kids practiced on an old ball field and played scrimmages against each other.

The funny part? We had T-Shirts made up for them and they were called, wait for it..., the Mebane Strikers.

Many of those parents formed Mebane's soccer league the next year and the rest, they say, is history. We have over 700 kids playing soccer in Mebane now, both Rec & Challenge. The town just built a $1 million soccer complex. All in a town that we were constantly told had no interest in soccer :)

baseballmom said...

Hey, here's a question for you...I have a 4 1/2 yr. old who keeps asking me to sign him up for a soccer team. Is he too young? My 10 yr. old started soccer at 4 and just kinda looked for dandelions and feathers out there. This kid is very different...much less passive (like how I phrased that?) and very coordinated, also has watched his brother play sports all his life. What do you think? Our area has many many leagues, and I checked into several clubs today, but they seemed a little too serious for him, just starting out, plus he'd have to play in 6u with both. Our local parks dept. has a soccer league for beginners, I think that might be better, but I'd be interested in your feedback. Also, thanks for visiting baseballmom!!!

Lisa said...

If he's asking, 4 1/2 isn't too young. Mine started at 4 or 5, and he was asking, also.

(The other son picked grass and played with dirt, too.)

Sign him up for the parks program, or see if one of the "serious" clubs has a youth development program instead. U-6 really just means he'd be playing with 5 year olds so that wouldn't be too extreme.

Good luck!

Crawdad said...

Funny on the comment about being the poorest. As a one-income family for the last 9 years, and down to one driver for the last 6, we have never failed to open our homes, hearts and wallets to kids that needed it. Sure, there have been tight months, but I'd prefer to be richer in spirit (and still hope to hit the Powerball).

Soccer Dad said...


Most of them are dandelion pickers at that age! I know my son was - now he's playing on a travel team. All leagues are different. We had to split our U6 into U5 (4 yrs) and U6 (5 yrs) because the old 5/6 year olds were scaring the younger 4/5 year olds. But it's still swarm ball. The kids have fun. One thing I always tell our parents is don't worry if your kid is picking dandelions. They all do it and they all discover 'the ball' at different times. As long as they aren't miserable - let them stay on teh team and pick dandelions. You'll be glad you did the first time your child gets the ball and suddenly takes off with it down the field, discovering soccer.

No point in worrying about a 'serious' program at that age - all they need to be workign on is core skills anyway - dribbling, passing, not pick their noses, etc. :)