Circle C 12-12-2018

Slaughter Creek

I happened to have my camera with me so I decided to take a short walk at the Circle C soccer fields. There is a small stream that flows in the park known as Slaughter Creek and it has substantial water in it at this time of the year. Not so much in the summer time when a lot of these streams tend to dry out.

I figured that I might be able to get some decent pictures of the stream so I parked my truck and wandered over to the closest point which happened to be right by the entrance to the Park and started clicking away. I noticed an odd looking tree that appeared to be half dead but a lot of that is the time of the year as all of the leaves had already dropped. This tree has a series of raised growths on it giving it this very odd appearance. I have no idea what caused this dis-figuration unless it was a climbing vine that managed to get incorporated into the trees bark but it makes for an interesting picture.

Now, I wonder what caused this?
A bigger view

I discovered there was a well trodden footpath that followed the stream so I decided to take it. I have walked this Park many times but this was the first time I have walked this particular trail. I knew that if I continued in the direction I was going, I would eventually run into Escarpment Blvd and from there, I could veer left and eventually connect up to the Main trail. This trail is very wide as the pictures show. There is also  Frisbee Golf course that sort of runs parallel to both Slaughter Creek and the Main trail with the two intermingling as they crisscross the park.

See how wide the main trails are.

This is a very popular Park for the local residents and is well used. The Soccer Fields are populated with kids training in the evenings and playing their matches on the weekends. All in all, a nice place for a short walk and with a Starbucks just across the street, who could go wrong. Altogether, I covered a little over 2 miles.

Written 12/14/2018

U11 Boys-Sunday 4/15/2012

Today we played a game at Quarry. The first game in a couple of weeks because of the Easter break. We managed to train this week but as is usually the case after a lay off, on Tuesday, the boys were a little excited and hard to manage as they had so much excess energy to get rid of. What better place than a soccer field and a ball to whack the heck out of…

The team we played was aptly named “Inferno” as they were from Bastrop. I am sure the team came before the great fire and there is no real connection other than coincidence. Very fitting though. Their coach and I struck up a conversation and I thought he seemed familiar. Turns out that he and I played on the same Over 30 mens team in years gone by. Small world.

We went through our warm up procedure as we usually do and generally, I use this time to evaluate just how concentrated we are before the game and then try to address it accordingly which is exactly what I ended up doing today. After we had gone on a run and then through our dynamics, it was obvious that some of the boys were not with the program so I called them together and we had a serious talk about their readiness to play or rather, their lack of it. This is not new to them as I have to do this a lot to get them ready.

This seemed to work as at least they tried harder than before until  it was time to go to our side of the playing field. I like to walk them in double file across the field not only to continue with the process of maintaining some form of discipline but also to try to intimidate the other team and impress their parents but do you think they will stay in two lines? They are good for the first twenty steps then they begin to bunch up or overlap, anything but two lines. Oh well, at least we had it for a very little while.

Just as I predicted, the first half for us was really poor. I mean back to the basics poor. Not just one or two players but just about every single one of them had forgotten everything we have worked on since last August. Passing the ball was non existent, positional play was out the window, bunching up and every one going for the same ball became the order of the day. I tried to get them to play better but in the end I gave up as it was apparent that no instruction on my part was going to change a thing. So, apart from an occasional shout here and there, I bit my tongue and kept quiet.

By half time, the other team had scored twice and it was obvious that they were not quite as strong as our boys. That is what made it so frustrating to be losing. I let the boys chatter for a couple of minutes and then quietly told them that they had just played the worst half ever since we formed the team. I told them what I saw as the problem and asked for their feedback on how we could change the situation. It was interesting that a couple of them mentioned the talk we had during warm up and said this was one of the reasons we were playing so poorly. I finally got them to understand that we needed to play as a team, support each other, not get in each others way and most of all, be encouraging to each other. I also turned the team upside down in terms of positions and we more or less changed the back line to the front and vice versa.

The boys had listened to the half time talk and came out running and gunning. They played hard, they passed the ball, they tackled hard, they ran and they chased and played for each other but most of all, they used their brains and figured out just what it would take to beat the other team. We had moved Leo to the front line and Normie to half back and between them and the rest of the boys, they created havoc every time they got on the ball. The other boys recognized that both of these boys were “on” and tried to get them the ball as much as possible. Leo scored the first hat trick that this team has had and could have had a couple more and definitely shook them up. On the other hand, Jack in our goal had little or nothing to do.

It really was a game of two halves and we went from being a team that hadn’t shown up to a team that had our opponents wishing we had never showed up. The second half, the boys played just as we wanted them to. They passed the ball, they ran into spaces, they covered for each other. Heck, I even saw a couple of headed balls. The final score was 5-2 in our favor and could have been a lot more and I couldn’t be more proud of them not so much for winning but in the manner they went about it and for listening to our half time discussion. Well done boys.

We have two games left both next weekend. One is in Bastrop against todays team, Inferno, on Saturday and then on Sunday, we play against the PAYSAL Cougars on their field. They are the team that has that extremely talented rather large boy who had scored three goals before we realized we had kicked off the first time we played them. Hopefully, we can do a better job of reigning him in this next time around.


Two Families

We had another game today, a game we won, I’m happy to say,
The boys all played so very well, they gave their Parents quite a thrill,
The score itself was four to two, goals scored by different players who,
all worked so hard and played as a team, in order to keep up the dream,
Of one day a really good player to be, while trying to please their family,
Families of which there are two, one at home of the regular kind, who
with a Mom and Dad and maybe you’ll find, a brother and sister, a siblings or two,
while the other are the boys who make up the team,
who play together with the improbable dream, of one day seeing their name in lights,
and climbing the most impossible heights,
but for now satisfied they will be, to record a win for both families,
The one at home comfortable and warm, and the one at the soccer field, noisy and loud,
a bunch of young boys, team mates and proud, to be, a member of this soccer family.