September 2015. The tension in the air was thick on the yellow bus as it drove over potholes and bumps. There was a clear division between the players on the team.
There were a few things we shared, such as attending the same school and being teammates. However, there were differences between us as well, since we were all in different grades.
What makes up a successful soccer team? Here are the girls who played last year.
First, we had the seniors, they, of course, dominated the team. Not only were they the captains but they were also the best players. Then there were the juniors who got along with the upperclassman pretty well; almost always being the only two grades that laughed and sang along to the music the speaker spat out. That was understandable, both groups have been on the same team for years, forming beautiful bonds.
As for sophomores, we hadn’t had any on our team during that time. Then came us, a total of six freshmen, a pretty large population compared to the other grades. I had played… We were quiet on the bus rides, the opposite of the upperclassman. As the new kids, we hardly spoke to one another, considering that we just met that year and haven’t formed any friendships just yet.
Although most people would take offense to not being included, I, on the other hand, felt comfortable with the feeling of simply sitting solo on the booth as I listen to the stories being told in the back. I wasn’t a part of the conversations, I laughed along anyway — feeling as if I was a popular senior myself.
But I wondered: would I ever get a chance to earn the royal seats in the back of that yellow bus? The seats that would give me permission to share all the stories I have stacked for years now, waiting for a group such as this team to share with.
Now, as a junior, I yearn the days when I looked up to the seniors who could run an incredible number of miles that no freshmen could at the time, the juniors who told the most reckless teenage stories anyone could laugh at, and the moments I would sit on the bench and cheer my team players hoping to one day achieve that same position on the field. I look back to our senior day where every individual shed a tear. Saying goodbye to the seniors of that year is incredible and emotional in so many different ways; not only are we losing such amazing players, but as well influential people.
After three seasons on the team, it feels more and more incredible each year. My recent season had just wrapped up… the new people I met, the new teams we played, and the overwhelming feeling of celebratory as a team.
Yes, we might not be the most coordinated players on that field, but at the end of the day what I learned from the girls after all of these years is that a team is definitely not about winning, it’s all about the adrenaline you get from the love you experience with a team, a true team.