On Feb. 25, I had the opportunity to attend a soccer game played by two middle schools. The game was a match between the Richmond Hill Middle School Wildcats and the team representing the Burke Middle School of Waynesboro.
I did not know the name of their mascot. Even not knowing all about the specifics of the game of soccer, I observed all the vim and vigor displayed by the 12- to 14-year-old girls and boys. There were two games, the girls played the first game and the boys played next. The games were impressive to watch.
There were two small bleachers set up for spectators. Both bleachers were occupied by Richmond Hill fans. I was seated among them. Suddenly, since there was plenty of room on the bleachers, the coach ushered the Wildcats onto the bleachers to await their turn on the field.
I sat there laughing and listening to these young fellas batting back and forth spontaneous, funny phrases in gaiety and laughter. When it was time for the next game to begin, the Wildcats psyched themselves up and took to the field.
The game was on, and the Wildcats took their positions on the field. I observed one unusual maneuver of the Wildcats when they kept the ball in the Waynesboro end of the field. That meant one thing to me: Burke couldn’t get the ball to the Wildcat’s end of the field to make a score – that’s team work.
Several times, members of the Wildcats would hit the ground and bounce back up just as quick, never breaking their rhythm. It was as if they never hit the ground at all. I saw nothing but coordination and team work. This action went on until the Wildcats racked up a score of 2-0. There were rip-roaring noises and cheering from the bleachers every time the Wildcats scored – that meant a lot.
A few of these scrappy, young Wildcats were not satisfied with just one victory. So they played three games with another team, the Raiders from Savannah, the very next day, and won all three games.
In the first game, they chalked up a score 8-0. In the second game, they were faced with a little more challenge and had to go into overtime to make that extra point, winning with a score of 5-4. The third game was a straight victory for them. It ended with a score of 4-1. Sweat and fatigue were beginning to show on them in the third game, but when the day ended, each victorious player returned home wearing that Silver Division Championship metal. That’s a day to be remembered.
And then on Feb. 28, the Wildcats took on the team from Effingham Middle School. It was not surprising who won that game, either. The Wildcats chalked up yet another win.
The Richmond Hill Middle School soccer team showed a real determination to win. Probably, that’s why they call themselves the Wildcats.
Bond lives in Richmond Hill. He can be reached at email@example.com.