The U11 boys played a game today at Quarry but before the game started, we gathered to bid farewell to one of our players, Dante Nelson. Dante joined the team in the Fall and did well in practice and scrimmages but when it came to playing in the games, Dante would have an anxiety attack which he battled the entire season. He managed to play almost an entire game against Hays but unfortunately for Dante, things started to go backwards from that point on. He manfully tried to battle against it but the struggle was too much and in the end, Dante just stood on the sidelines and watched the rest of the team play even though I asked repeatedly if he wanted to go in.
The other boys even at the tender age of 10-11, understood and tried to encourage him and would help him with his play and then rough him up in practice just to make him come out of his shell. He did almost every time and would give as good as he was getting. He developed good skills with the ball and would have become a difficult player to mark. When game time came around, he was going through these inward struggles and was not able to beat them.
Today, Dante showed up to the field and we gathered the rest of the kids together. They had all signed a card along with as many Parents who were present. Dante stood in front of both the rest of his team mates and their Parents and announced to the entire group of his intentions to stand down from the team and football in general. I thought it incredibly brave of him to make that announcement to everyone. He showed that at that particular moment, he had conquered his fears and was able to say his piece. Hank as one of the team Captains handed Dante the card and everyone crowded around and shook his hand and gave him a hug. It was nice to see.
Dante, both Cristina and I just want to wish you luck in your future endeavours and we all have the confidence you can and will lick this thing.
On another note, we had another player, Chris Brand, leave us a couple of months back. Chris never had any confidence problems and was a good player with the ball at his feet. Chris quit because he had too much on his plate and something had to give. Unfortunately for us, it was soccer that he gave up. The team misses him and wishes him the very best of luck with his choice. We are the losers but hopefully, someone else will be gaining.
Good Luck Chris