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Reflections of a Soccer Mom

Dear Editor

My Dad used to ask me every night at the dinner table, “What did you learn today?” He insisted that even on those days I felt I hadn’t learned anything, there is something to be learned. As a first time All-Stars soccer mom, I’ve come to a similar conclusion: We may not have won, but there was a whole lot of winning going on these last three weekends. Much of this was due to the commitment of volunteer coaches and the positive attitude of fellow parents, grandparents, siblings, etc. My boys were part of the first and second grade co-ed team, the Fredericktown Sharks, put together by Russell Matthews, Bill Flanagan and J.T. Kinney. They traveled three consecutive weekends to Perryville, Sikeston and Cape Girardeau playing three games each weekend.

Here are some of the things my kids and I learned:

1. Everyone plays – some more than others, but we play as a team.

2. Don’t underestimate girls. When you are the only co-ed team with girls, put them all as forwards and watch the other team get frustrated.

3. It helps to paint your hair different colors – just in case you forget we’re doing this for fun.

4. A lesser team can beat a better team by not playing fair. It still feels better to play fair.

5. Rules are serious stuff. Direct kicks that should have been indirect kicks don’t count – no matter how good they are!

We have great appreciation for our financial sponsors, to the coaches and to the Optimist Club. And to the Fredericktown Sharks, “Better Luck Next Year!”

Kari vanRaalten

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