By Mr. Schultz
Upper School students at Immanuel study a new sport each month in Physical Education classes. For the month of October, the Upper School students worked on their soccer skills, everything from dribbling the soccer ball, to passing, to shooting, to goal-keeping. To set a goal for our students, a game was scheduled with Alexandria Country Day School on October 29. Needless to say, with an upcoming game against ACDS, the students’ motivation was high to push harder and learn intently in PE classes. The students knew as well as I did that they had to take advantage of every moment in PE to get ready for their opponent just a few blocks away on Russell Road.
ACDS plays in a sports league with other area schools like Burgundy Farm, St. Stephens, Browne Academy, and others; they are also one of the top soccer teams in their league! Together, the Upper School made the most of their four weeks to practice and learn. We knew from the start that ACDS’s team had already been at practice for two months, but our spirits were strong. It was Immanuel Lutheran versus Alexandria Country Day School, ILS vs. ACDS.
On October 29, ACDS welcomed ILS onto their campus for two games: one game for 4th and 5th graders, and another match between 6th, 7th, and 8th graders.
4th and 5th grade played the first game and competed to the fullest! ACDS went up 1-0, but our players didn't hang their heads. They kept battling, kept dribbling and kept passing and shooting just like they had practiced the previous four weeks. Late in the game, Immanuel scored a goal to knot it 1-1. It was a spectacular goal that hit the top crossbar before bouncing in the net. What a game it was!
It was then our 6th, 7th, and 8th grade team's turn to play. ACDS's varsity is the top team in their league, but Immanuel's players competed like equals. For a while, you could tell ACDS's team was being stifled by Immanuel’s tough defense. My favorite moment was when Immanuel scored, and I looked over to our sideline. Our fans erupted in thunderous cheers! While we didn’t win either game, it was a fantastic opportunity for our students to engage with our community, find themselves challenged, and engage in some healthy competition. I’m personally proud of the effort and heart our students displayed while competing against established teams. Thank you, ACDS, for playing a few games with us! We hope to have more matches in the future.
The best part of the entire event was seeing how the Immanuel community showed up in force. I knew we'd have a lot of fans attend, but I did not anticipate the great multitude of ILS enthusiasts on the sidelines. From face painting to the homemade signs of support, it certainly was a sight to see! Job well done to the Immanuel players who put in so much effort and hard work at practice. And job well done to the Immanuel throng who came out to support Immanuel's soccer team.