Four scores and seven games ago, your parents drove forth into this suburban sprawl a team of Super Shootout contenders, conceived in competitiveness, and dedicated to the proposition that all girls are capable of heading size-5 balls into large nets.
You girls are now engaged in a momentous final conflict, a test of athleticism and drive that will determine whether you—or any team so driven in minivans, and weary from over-scheduling—can truly endure. Today our team, Freedom, meets its rival, the Panthers, on the great battlefield of the eighth game of the Super Shootout Tournament of World Champions (Suburban PA Chapter). The Panthers, ladies. Queens of the yellow card. Remember that time they “accidentally” tripped Brittany? Remember the bloodbath that followed? Still, you must not cower. Noses can be fixed; you can barely see Brittany’s bumps.
Because we have two hours to wait until the start of the next game, we have come to take refuge in this portable tent, both to rest and also to offer testament to the injured among our ranks, who gave their heads, ankles, and wrists so that the rest of you girls might advance team Freedom to the finals. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this, and let me add that Kendra’s concussion is mild, and Mila’s cast should be on for only like four weeks.
But let us not dwell on the injured players who have had to say farewell to this well-groomed turf field. Those brave girls who struggled here have done much to power us forward to the championship; sadly, they can no longer add to our efforts. They can no longer whiff a ball or crack heads with the Panthers; in fact, the Panthers probably won’t even remember our sidelined girls.
But we will. And if we win? Those Panthers will always remember our victory.
So it is for us, the healthy—I’m looking at you, Sarah G., and also your mom, who sends me daily e-mails about your lack of playing time—to dedicate ourselves to the unfinished quest of winning this game for our injured girls, and for all the parents who spend insane amounts of time and money on soccer in their endeavor to get you that rarest of trophies: a college sports scholarship.
No high fives during speeches, Mrs. McKenzie. Back to team Freedom’s quest, please.
It is a quest that your injured teammates have nobly advanced, just like you girls have to advance our offense way more than you did in Game Seven. To do them justice, we must remain dedicated to the great task before us. Let us ramp up our commitment to the cause—a decisive victory and a HUGE championship trophy—a cause for which our invalid players gave the full measure of their devotion.
Let us remember them.
Let us also remember Kate-Lyn, who lost an earring during that one save in goal and is apparently still hysterical about it. And let us also offer thanks to all of the parents and coaches who have readily sacrificed their social lives on many occasions, and who have not slept late on a Saturday in fourteen years. We here highly resolve that our brave, injured girls did not fall writhing to the ground in vain; we resolve that the cheering of the parents, by the parents (just cheering, Mr. Wilmer, no parent coaching from the sidelines) will continue until the last moment when we score the final goal and are champions of the earth. Or at least the Super Shootout Tournament of World Champions (Suburban PA Chapter).
Let’s win this thing. Go Freedom!
This original piece by Kristin O’Keefe was written exclusively for In the Powder Room, a division of Hold My Purse Productions, LLC. Featured images ©depositphotos.com/londondeposit and depositphotos.com/monkeybusiness.