Under the able direction and mentorship of BRYC veteran coach John Kelleher, recipient of Fairfax County's "Champion of Character Award", who’s been with the organization since some time about the turn of the century, “Friday Night Lights”, a Friday night pickup game he started for U16/19 boys and those who had aged out of the BRYC program, is beginning its seventh year this summer. John notes that when he started this program he was getting literally a handful of players so he had a right to brag a bit when he shared pictures from Friday July 10 when he counted more than 50 smiling faces in the group photo.
John noted that this was one of the largest groups, but not the record, because he recalls breaking 60 several times a couple of winters ago. Still, it required John organizing the group into four simultaneous matches with eight teams of six to seven players, rotating opponents every 20 minutes. John says he’s JUST there to “organize it” and extends thanks to BRYC’s administration for providing the excellent turf fields, programming the field lighting at Woodson West, and general moral support, but this is really HIS baby!
John was especially proud this week when the league received one of the best compliments he could imagine. One of his players introduced John to his friend, Isaac, visiting from England, where his Dad is active duty Army. England, home of Champions League, the Premier League, and some fanatic soccer fans, but he said to John: “This is great. Thanks so much for organizing this. I wish we had something like this in England!”
John asked “Can you believe it? An American living in England returns to the states and shows up at Friday Night Lights and compliments our soccer program and says he wishes he could find something like this in England! That was the best!”