A Good First Day


Number One Son and his Grissom High teammates stretch prior to this morning’s match with Gadsden City High School at the Island Cup Invitational in Orange Beach, Alabama.

They must have been plenty loose, because they proceeded to go out and “mercy rule” yet another opponent 10-0. Number One put the finishing touches on that one, scoring his first goal of the season with a nifty shot just inside the left post outside the reach of a diving keeper.

Our afternoon opponent, the Cullman High Bearcuts, proved a tougher challenge. They showed little interest in attacking, opting instead to hunker down with 9-10 field players inside the box at all times in order to keep us out of the net. But we found the mark twice within the first 20 minutes of the match and that was all that it would take, as we gritted out a 2-0 victory over a Cullman squad that always plays us tough and physical.

Tomorrow we play in the semifinals against a very tough Tulsa Memorial team. We beat their crosstown rivals Tulsa Union in last year’s Island Cup final, and if we manage to get by Memorial, we’ll likely play Union again in tomorrow night’s final. The Oklahoma squads are highly skilled, tactically astute and big (beef-fed, I guess). But that’s why we travel for tournaments–to play tougher competition than what we can find in North Alabama. Hopefully, when the mercury is pushing ninety in mid-May and everything is on the line in the state tournament, all of that extra strain will pay off.

It was a good first day. Hopefully day two will be even better.

  1. Brady

    Thanks for the update and congrats to all, especially Son Number One. BTW, who does the laundry between games? They don’t wear the same jersey 4 times, do they?

  2. Mike the Eyeguy

    They have several jerseys to choose from, so they never wear the same one twice. If they make the final of a tournament, they have the tradition of wearing this old school, light orange checkered jersey.

    We parents think it’s ugly, but they feel strongly that it brings them good luck. Football players are like that you know.

  3. Terri

    Our Cullman team has done well in the past. Not that I know anything about soccer but I’ve been told that they play that style of game because they don’t really have the finesse or skilled players…what do I know?

  4. Mike the Eyeguy

    Cullman has a mix of skilled players and not-as-skilled but good athletes. I was not as impressed with the individual skills of this year’s squad as I have been in the past. I believe they lost several seniors off of last year’s squad, including a very fine center midfielder.

    I took the National D License course with the Cullman coach a few years back. He’s a good guy, and yesterday he did what he had to do keep it close and competitive. Packing it in the box and using a lot of body was their best shot, but it wasn’t enough to overcome our speed and skill.

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