Jake vs. WO Soccer


Jake Holstege

 It was a warm morning at the WO Varsity soccer fields.  Bending down, the grass in my hands felt dry, and when it got tossed up in the air it flew all around.  The wind blew pretty hard, but the wind would not affect my kicking skills (or lack thereof).  The date was October 18 around 10:00 a.m.  I was going to play against WOHS Varsity Soccer goalie Jr. Sam Beetham; the previous Saturday, as my dad flipped through the channels in our living room, he stopped and watched an MLS soccer game between the Houston Dynamo and the Colorado Rapids.  The final score of the contest: Colorado three and Houston two. We saw Colorado strike first and I said to my parents, this would be me if I were to play soccer.  So, I decided to try out my theory and see if it was correct. Guided by some of WO’s own soccer players, I went out and tried to complete some free-kicks against Beetham.  After a long process, the evidence shows that my future as an MLS player is not bright.

  Before starting, I went around asking players what their expectations of me would be. Beetham did not believe I would not make any goals.  Right wing soccer player Soph. Mac Strobel, also believed no goals would be made. All spectators of my soccer competition had very low expectations from me, too, including Jr. Takoda Denhof.  I believed that my amazing luck would at least give me one or two goals.

  Beetham got set up in the goal and gave me a nod when he was ready.  I started out by kicking penalty shots, quickly making four in a row.  The more experienced soccer players then informed me that making a penalty kick is more luck than skill.  So, after some debate, we decided that we should take some more realistic shots and the moved the ball back to the free kick line.  Feeling confident because I had just made four in a row, I thought that making free kicks were a given.  I thought very wrong, missing the first two, so I  decided to get some help.

  “You’re using your toes instead of the side of your foot,” Strobel said. Beetham and Strobel advised me that kicking with the side of my foot would give me more surface area to strike the ball, more accuracy, and more power.  Better players use the side of their feet.  They also are able to put more curve on the ball; however, that would not matter for me because I figured I just needed to kick the ball hard.  Strobel also instructed me that I need to follow through with my foot.  One more piece of advice that I received and perhaps the most important advice came from Beetham: “Plant your foot right next to the ball.”

  After some brief advice, I went back to the free kicks.  Once again Beetham slowly moved to the right, easily able to block the shot.  Although I attempted to kick with the side of my foot, I failed to get the extra power I was supposed to get in order to score a goal.  In attempt to gain more power so Beetham would not be able to get to the ball as quickly, I went back to kicking with my toe.  When I kicked with my toe, I had more power, speed, and could kick the ball straight, but could not stop the ball from going over the goal.  Beetham and Strobel agreed that if there was any chance of me scoring I was going to need to kick with my toe.

  We continued with at least 10 more kicks after the advice, but I could not put one past Beetham.  Although others hypothesis’ were correct, mine was incorrect. Going into this sport I knew that I would not excel, but did think that it would go better than before.  I lost confidence after my first few shots and never regained that confidence because another goal did not happen.  Scoring penalty kicks is much easier than scoring free kicks.  In the end, the observers and I thought it would be best if I were to end on a goal, so we decided to end by shooting penalty kicks.  Making the first goal, we all decided to end on a win.  In conclusion, soccer went just as well as tennis; however, the word “well” is a definite overstatement.

Please check out my highlights edited by Takoda Denhof @ Youtube.com