It was the finals of the college football championships, and I was the one in charge of captaincy of our school’s football team. The weather was hot as well as humid on this bizarre February day, but my teammates and I made our way onto the soccer field so as to warm-up for the final match with one of our greatest rivals. As the coach led us in the warm-ups, I peered at the crowds who had come to watch this match. Memories of the challenges and fun that we had endured from the group stages up to this final game flashed through my mind, giving me confidence that after many years without a trophy, we had a chance to bring the glory that our college’s football team had years back. I went back to reality after I heard the coach calling out the starting line-up for the game.
We went back to the dressing room to wear our team uniforms and then made our way into the field, with both teams being cheered by their fans. The chilling breeze pressed against our goaded faces. We stood patiently on the field waiting for the sharp whistle to go off. Mark, one of the best strikers, Jayson- a skillful dribbler, and I were to lead the attacking front of our team, and we were all looking forward to tear up our rivals’ defenses.
After the whistle went off, the prospects of us winning the game were becoming minimal as our midfielders lost possession to our rivals’ attacking duo who scored after just ten minutes into the game. Their fans started cheering them while we were often booed at by our own supporters due to the weak game we had put up. The referee blew the whistle to signal the half time, and we were unfortunately two goals down. It was hard to believe that our intention to be crowned as champions was diminishing with every passing minute.
In the dressing room, instead of the coach yelling to us for our dismal performance, he encouraged us and made us to believe that we could still win the championship and that we had to remain focused to the course. His leadership skills on and off the football pitch were immeasurable. As we made our way into the field for the final half of the game, everyone seemed to have a renewed motivation. On the other hand, our opponents were relaxed and comfortable with the two-goal lead.
Stepping up in front of our fans, parents and the coach to receive our first placed medal was the best moment of my life. All the struggles and hard work had finally paid off. I was overwhelmed with joy for being crowned the championship’s best player, with my two goal assists proving to be the deciding factor in winning the trophy. The memories, excitement, and fun of all the previous games overflowed in my mind. This made me realize that this year of soccer has been very rewarding and that it will remain in my memory forever.
This game taught us that it is good to be cohesive as a team, and believe in the cause without giving up. Our team demonstrated a lot of cohesion and, as a result, by the time the last whistle went off, Mark had scored a hat-trick to earn us the first trophy in years.