Banneker Soccer - Taking Trojans to the Next Level!
My students need soccer balls, socks, and cones/nets for practice!
One year into our soccer program and my players have already seen what success can look like - now they are dying for it. But without quality equipment, they will never be able to get there.
Where we are located in Georgia, soccer is big, just not generally for "our players." Our league is divided in such a way that puts all of the black/Hispanic teams on one side of the league and the wealthier, suburban, and majority white teams on the other side.
That way, come playoff time when the opposing sides are combined for the first round, all of the wealthy teams get an "easy" first game against all of the minority teams prior to playing each other for the games to qualify for the state playoffs.
Now most believe that this isn't such a bad system since soccer is not "big" in our communities. However, the more correct assessment is that soccer does not have as many resources in our communities when compared to wealthier ones. I know because I grew up playing in one of the largely white communities and was on a team that routinely blew out the minority teams.
In reality, my players love the game deeply. It's all they talk about every day - help them prove it on the field.
Simply put, we need socks first and foremost. Our team literally would share socks last year during the games. The girls would play first, remove their socks at the final whistle, and give them to the boys. Not only is this a degrading experience, especially in front of well-funded teams, but it is also unsanitary.
We need small nets and cones so we can have real, quality practices. Instead of having to chase balls all over the field and instead of having to use shoes or shirts for "cones," we need actual equipment that will allow us to actually build skills.
And we need goalie gloves because it is all that my goalie talks about - last year, he had never played before, now it is his life's passion and he deserves his own set of decent gloves as a reward for his dedication.
In our first season, we blew the school away with our success on the field, our high quality uniforms thanks to generous sponsors, and our ability to appeal to new groups of students.
With this equipment, we can now make waves not only in the school, but in the league. The players are required to attend study hall and maintain excellent academic and behavior standing in order to play. When the finally earn their spot on the field, I want them now to feel as though they belong there.
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