When she was born in April of 2000, Addie Bathurst had a problem. Her heart wasn’t working quite right. Within four days she was in surgery to repair the tiny organ. Her parents knew that sometime in the future she might have to undergo surgery again, but the good news was that until then, Addie was just like any other kid, and could run and play with the best of them.
Growing up in a family that loves soccer (one of her older sisters was a BRYC All Star at U12 before going travel, and played on the Woodson HS varsity team this year; her mother was a BRYC coach for a few seasons), Addie gravitated to the game. By the time she was a U8 she was an All Star for the first time, and had made the squad five of six seasons through last spring’s FPYC Tournament as a U10.
But then last summer the doctors said it was time for a second open-heart surgery to correct an area that had not kept up with her growth. For Addie, among other more important things, that meant no contact sports for six months. No fall soccer.
Flash forward to the spring season just ended. With the doctor’s approval, Addie was back on the pitch, playing with as much spirit, determination, and "heart" as ever. Once again she was selected to play as a defensive back on the U11G All Star squad, coached by Dave Diaz.
Meanwhile, Addie has become a movie star of sorts, which is where this story really begins, as a film crew followed Addie’s surgery and recovery to create a promotional video for Inova Health System...capturing some her regular season play for Coach Mike Choffel, on whose team she’s played since 2008. With the permission of the hospital, the doctors, and her parents, you can see the Inova film, in which Addie says she wants to become a professional soccer player. Whether she’s that, or a movie star, or a heart surgeon perhaps, for now she’s an eleven year-old who loves soccer...and we’re thrilled she can play again for BRYC.
For BRYC’s Senior Division, the Under 14 through Under 19 age groups, the Spring 2011 Season just concluded was one of the more successful in the history of the program. At least five teams ended the season on top of the standings! See a separete story (coming soon) on the U16 and U19 Boys playing in the SFL, the Suburban Friendship League. But first...
For the 17 players on the U14 Girls "Icebreakers", coached by BRYC veteran Brian Conaway, it was going to be hard to improve on last fall’s 7-0-1 season, but improve they did. In a league that includes teams from the neighboring Springfield Youth Club (SYC) and Burke Athletic Club BAC), the Ice- breakers were unbeatable. Though there is no official "championship", after the 7th game of the season the teams from the league’s two divisions are paired up for the 8th and final game based on the standings, with the first place teams in each division playing against each other. The Icebreakers won their division in both the Fall and Spring seasons. In the final game of the spring season, vs. a team from Burke that sported an impressive 6-0-1 record going into the game, the Icebreakers fell behind 1-0 for the first time this season, but came roaring back at the beginning of the second half, scoring two quick goals which stood up for a final score of 2-1, and an undefeated 8-0-0 season, with a combined record of 15-0-1 over the spring and fall. In those 16 games they allowed only 4 goals while scoring 49 of their own.
The girls play not just as teammates but as friends. 15 of the 17 girls attend Robert Frost Intermediate School, a closeness that Coach Conaway said translates into a team cohe- siveness that was a key ingredient to their success. Congratulations to the coach and his girls, almost all of whom will move up to the U16 Girls league in the fall...where they will face many of the same girls they played against this season. They’ll be waiting...and the Icebreakers will be looking to extend their streak!
Four BRYC teams, two each at the U16 and U19 levels, can proudly lay claim to two regular season Suburban Friendship League (SFL) championships and two tournament championships, in one of BRYC’s better SFL seasons in recent memory.
Because most area soccer clubs don’t have enough players at the older age levels to create a season schedule independently, some 30 area clubs play their regular season games in the SFL. Teams are grouped into two divisions, based on their record the previous season. (At the U16 level there were 23 teams placed in Division I, including one from BRYC, and over 50 teams placed in Division II, including three from BRYC. At the U19 level both BRYC teams played in Division II.) The teams play a regular-season schedule of seven games before being placed into smaller groups of teams with similar season records for the two-day SFL tournament, held on June 11-12.
Congratulations to Coach Mitch Peyser’s U16 Boys, who finished the season with a gaudy record of 7-0-0m and the SFL Division II regular season championship, before being knocked off in the tournament in a couple of very close and hard-fought games which pitted the top five of the fifty teams in the division. Coach Peyser said "the boys earned it by working hard all season both at the games at at their physical conditioning. Every one of the boys contributed to the success. It was an exciting season with some close calls, and thrilling in the end to see the boys do so well."
Congratulations to Coach Ricky Ramirez’ U16 Boys for turning their season around after a disastrous start at 0-4 with three regular season victories to end league play, and another three wins in the tournament, outscoring their opponents by a margin of 27-6 over the last six games (allowing exactly one goal in each of them), and earning their SFL tournament championship. That’s some great momentum going into the FPYC Tournament where Coach Ramirez will be taking the best players from each of the four U16 Boys teams, albeit with almost no time to practice as a group.
Meanwhile, there was a similar situation with the U19 Boys where Coach John Kelleher’s team, the "Strykers", won the SFL Division II regular season championship with a sterling record of 6-0-1. The only "blemish" on the Strykers’ perfect record was a 0-0 tie with McLean in the second game of the season, as the team played two-men down and the game was shortened by rain. Coach Kelleher viewed that as a moral victory under the circumstances, and the team came back to win its final five games, outscoring its opponents 28-9 over the course of the season.
Unfortunately, after winning its first game of the SFL tournament (scoring very late in the game to break a 1-1-tie vs. Southwestern) on Saturday morning, the team narrowly lost its afternoon game against Annandale (ABGC) by a score of 0-1, followed by a loss to another strong Annandale team in the final game of the tournament. It was a sad way to end the season for the storied Strykers, but it was a great season overall and one in which the coach and his team can take great pride.
Meanwhile, Coach Bob Heyer’s team, the "Magic", which had a "so-so" record of 3-3-1 in the SFL’s regular season, turned up the heat in the SFL tournament and roared through three games with a record of 3-0, finding the "magic" and outscoring opponents by a margin of 10-3, including shutout victories over Springfield and McLean. As he does for each of his team’s games, Coach Heyer summarized their play in an email, noting the team’s weaknesses and places for improvement, but filled with plaudits for "forcing the style of play,", "nice passing and ball movement", "disciplined play", and "a lot of effort by everyone!". Also as he does at each game, the coach got a team photo..with the boys (who will represent BRYC in the FPYC tourney) already wearing their All Star stripes.
But even better than the team photo is the family photo...an amazing show of support for a U19 squad where most of the boys drive themselves to practices and games. So congratulations to the parents and siblings as well as the coach and his team for a great end to the SFL season...and good luck in the FPYC tournament.
(All the photos in this story are linked to larger versions. Just click on the photo.)
Prior to their rain makeup game on Sunday, May 8, Mother’s Day, the U9 Girls Sharks, coached by Mike Newman, surprised their Moms with Mothers’ Day greetings. One of the dads, Patrick O’Neill, snapped this impromptu picture from the parents’ side as they raced across to give them the cards. It was a special moment! Wonderful thoughtfulness, Mike, and thanks for the photo.
While the soccer goals have remained firmly padlocked to the baseball backstop since November, and will remain there until mid-March, the Chapel Square field on Holborn Avenue in Annandale never wants for action. From the moment the Annandale Boys and Girls Club (ABGC) seeds the field and lays down the winter blanket, to the great days of sledding down the hill, to wildlife visitors large and small, to watching the snow slowly melt before the blanket is removed it’s a never-ending show that the BRYC webmaster enjoys watching from his home across the street.
In January it was a family of deer on the winter’s most blustery day...and happy kids sledding down the hill when school was cancelled the next. Last week it was Canadian geese and the Annandale High School lacrosse team. In just a few weeks it’ll be BRYC soccer.
Check out the photo gallery below to see some of the never-ending activity.
Virginia boasts almost 7,000 certified soccer referees, including a few dozen instructors who train them, assignors who schedule their games, and assessors who provide critical evaluations of their performance. One of the few who serves in all four roles is Harvey Finberg. Harvey started as a BRYC soccer coach many years ago, teaches our new referees and recertifying referees, and can be found most weekends on a BRYC field officiating or assessing referees at our recreational soccer games.