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Heavy Metal

Today, the Mr. and I are on our way to visit Chicky.  She will be among the players being recognized at Senior Night during Saturday’s last home game.

What a bittersweet time this is for us.

As I gathered the items that Chicky had requested that we take to her, I couldn’t help but notice, for not the first time, the many many soccer medals hanging in her closet, all accumulated during sixteen years of play…

Those aren’t even all of her medals, I’m sure.

I inspected each one, slowly reading the name of each tournament, year, and place awarded.

A few stood out in my mind as memories invaded my mind.

The Orange Classic was one of our favorite tournaments to attend.  It is an annual tournament held in south Florida near where we spent eight years of our lives.  Chicky started playing soccer when she was six years old…in south Florida…so many of our friends were tied to the sport.  Years later, after we moved, we would run into these friends as we traveled from tournament to tournament.  Once, we even ran into someone in an airport across the country!

We attended the Top Gun tournament several times over the years.  The above medal came from one of the first tournaments Chicky played in after we moved away from south Florida.

The next medal was awarded at National Cup, which was held in Arkansas.  Chicky’s team had finished as #2 in the state of Florida.  Chicky’s team got to go because of some strange ranking thing that allowed certain teams to attend if they had won certain leagues.  Going to Nationals was an exhilarating experience, although it was a terribly long drive (and the hotel was a dump…next to a mall where a person got shot in the parking lot and someone…not on the team…got attacked in the hotel).

Yeah.  It was an interesting trip.  As a side note, I took my first real knitting project with me on this trip…the ugliest blue scarf you’ve ever seen.  I also took my first class through Troy’s online program…a basic here’s how you do long-distance learning class.

Chicky played at quite a few Disney tournaments.  Let me tell you that Disney knows how to put on an athletic event!  It was at one tournament where Chicky was reunited with players from south Florida.  This happened a few months after we had moved away, and it was a joyful time!  Chicky’s team won that tournament.  We played in the heat, and we played in the cold because yes, Orlando can get cold in the winter.

The Timberwolf Classic was put on by a rival high school a few hours away.  We loathed this school, and Chicky’s team played in the tournament every year she was in high school.  The way the tournament was planned out, we never won.  Ever.

Until 2008 when we beat our rival soundly in a thrilling game!  We had a dear friend whose daughter played on the other team.  She was a fierce competitor who always brought out the best in Chicky.

One of the most rewarding high school experiences was her senior season.  Chicky played some of the best soccer I’ve ever seen her play.  Her team went to the Final Four playoffs and lost the game in overtime in torrential rain and freezing cold.

She was named to the All Star team and had a wonderful experience playing in that game.  If I’m not mistaken, she was named MVP of that game.

Chicky’s travel teams were good.  They went to Final Four several times, although the teams she was on never won the entire thing.  Still, to be considered one of the top four in the state was a huge honor.

This medal came from her last Final Four.  It was a bittersweet end to her travel soccer career.

Chicky’s heavy metal doesn’t end with those hung around her neck.

She has received numerous awards and trophies over the years as well.  Here are a few of my favorite.

She was awarded Best Defensive Player her senior year of high school…

She also received a beautiful MVP award at that same banquet…a time of celebration that I cried through…

She’s also been recognized at her college awards ceremonies…

The last time I visited Chicky, I saw another award in her car.  It had not made it home to her shelf.

The above pictures are but snapshots of my sweet girl’s soccer career.

I posted the pictures, not to brag, but to celebrate her accomplishments.

She would be embarrassed, and I’m sure I’ll probably hear about it when she finds out I’ve written this.

She would be the first to put the honor where it’s due…to the One who blessed her with her talent.


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