No I am not referring to someone from the world champion Phillies…though congrats to my Philadelphia friends. This MVP is closer to home.

Just over two years ago, my son was trying out for the high school sophomore soccer team. He had been playing since he was 4 and excelling since he was 5. For years he would vacillate between soccer and baseball as his favorite sport. Sometime early in high school baseball clearly took the #1 spot. Here he was at the end of the summer, a summer in which he had been playing baseball almost every day, assuming that he would make the soccer team– just because. He was goofing around and not giving this tryout his all.

As the story was told the other night, the sophomore coaches were ready to drop him from the program. The kid had some talent but was not worth the trouble and there were boys working their butts off to make the team. Fortunately the varsity coach had coached D for several years when he first started playing on a travel team at the age of 8 or 9. He knew the kind of heart that D usually brings to whatever he does. They decided to have him play on the JV squad that year and see how he handled it. It may sound good to be on JV as a soph but that would be wrong. JV is mostly made up of juniors not good enough to make varsity.

Bottom line. He learned a lesson. He put his all that season into improving both his skills and his attitude. As a junior he made varsity and as a senior he really stepped up his game. He is still a baseball guy. He plays soccer during the fall and the last couple of weeks of summer. Yet, this year he played the best soccer of his young life.

As a midfielder he was moved from defensive mid to offensive mid depending on what the team needed during the game.  He was often asked to shadow the best player of the other team. Kids who were all conference, played year round on elite travel teams and expect to play Division I college soccer. At 5’6″ and 130 pounds he usually gave up several inches and many pounds. He would get knocked to the ground making runs up the field and bounce back.

It paid off. Unfortunately not in the team’s record. this team had talent but not much success hitting the back of the net. But D got noticed. First he has been invited to play on the elite travel team sponsored by the Chicago Fire, our professional team. Then he was named All Sectional, Honorable Mention. (What does that mean you may ask? I did. The recognition levels are All Conference, All Sectional and All State. His was the level above all conference.) Not bad for a baseball guy.

The final and best honor came the other night at the high school soccer awards dinner. D was named MVP by vote of his teammates. How cool is that!

In high school there are a number of good students and lots of good athletes. I was a student, not much of an athlete. it takes a special kid to be able to do school and..what ever that “and” is. For D his “and” is being an athlete, a true student athlete. I am proud of him. I am sure that his grandma is too.

He has some choices to make. He has been focused on playing baseball in college. He is now being told by many people that he could definitely play soccer in college. Possibly at a Division I level. It is an exciting possibility but to do that he would have to go to tournaments that college coaches scout at and probably have to play soccer this spring. There is not enough time for baseball, soccer and school in the spring. One will have to go. Right now I am putting my money on baseball (his choice) and school (my choice).

Oh to have your life in front of you with excellent choices. That is an MVP kinda life.

About 48facets
What you read is what you get.

One Response to MVP…MVP

  1. Frank says:

    Wow, congrats to D….that is just wonderful news. He should be proud, as should you guys.

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