BRYC U8 Golden Jets Travel to Orlando

Coach Onibudo's Boys Couldn't Wait for the Spring Season

Baby, it’s cold outside! While waiting for it to warm up a bit in Northern Virginia, BRYC U8 Boys coach Mohammed Onibudo (“Coach O.”) and six of his team, called the  “Golden Jets,” headed to Orlando for a three-day, 3v3 “Kick-It” tournament in early January, having qualified for the national finals in regional competitions last fall. The coach provided a wonderfully exciting account of the experience.    
Notwithstanding player illnesses which kept parents and coaches constantly on the go, and undoubtedly affected the boys’ play, the coach happily reported that he wouldn’t mind making it a yearly ritual and wishes he could have taken all the boys because it was an awesome and electrifying time for the ones that were there. The skill of the different teams in the tournament was unbelievable. 
 
Pictured above: Golden Jets Emmanuel R., Yonas A., Isaiah M., and Nathan O., with Nathan’s brother (and team mascot) Matthew (BRYC U5) in front and Coach Onibudo in the rear.  Missing:  Brandon H., Franzeki K., and Coach Jimmy.  Coach Onibudo reports that things moved so fast the entire time in Orlando that he was never able to get the entire team together for a photo.
 
The Golden Jets started slow during “pool play” on Saturday and Sunday morning, keeping the opposition on their toes but losing their first three games. By the time of the final pool game, however, the boys showed that they had learned a lot from the three losses and watching some of the other games, beating the Auburndale (Florida) Elite by a score of 7-5.
 
Then things got interesting...
 

Baby, it’s cold outside! While waiting for it to warm up a bit in Northern Virginia, BRYC U8 Boys coach Mohammed Onibudo (“Coach O.”) and six of his team, called the  “Golden Jets,” headed to Orlando for a three day, 3v3 “Kick-It” tournament in early January, having qualified for the national finals in regional competitions last fall. The coach provided a wonderfully exciting account of the experience.

Notwithstanding player illnesses which kept parents and coaches on the go, and undoubtedly affected the boys’ play, the coach happily reported that he wouldn’t mind making it a yearly ritual and wishes he could have taken all the boys because it was an awesome and electrifying time for the ones that were there. The skill of the different teams in the tournament was unbelievable.  The Golden Jets started slow during “pool play” on Saturday and Sunday morning, keeping the opposition on their toes but losing their first three games. By the time of the final pool game, however, the boys showed that they had learned a lot from the three losses and watching some of the other games, beating the Auburndale (FL) Elite by a score of 7-5.
 
 
Then things got interesting!
 
 
Pictured above: Golden Jets Emmanuel R., Yonas A., Isaiah M., and Nathan O., with Nathan’s brother (and team mascot) Matthew (BRYC U5) in front and Coach Onibudo in the rear.  Missing:  Brandon H., Franzeki K., and Coach Jimmy.  Coach Onibudo reports that things moved so fast the entire time in Orlando that he was never able to get the entire team together for a photo.
 
The coach assumed that, given the team’s record, they would be the number four seed from their pool play bracket and would be playing in the Bronze Division the rest of the tournament.  Soon enough (but not quite soon enough, as it turned out!) he learned that was a bad assumption. In fact, the Golden Jets had tied two other teams for third place and edged both of them out for a match in the Gold Division based on goal differential. Their next game was to begin just thirty minutes after the last one ended! But the Coach didn’t learn of his faulty assumption until an hour later.  When the Golden Jets didn't show up for the game, they lost by forfeit.
 
That was tough…but bad news for the coach was received as good news by the boys as they contemplated what "might have been" and were moved to the Silver Division, pitted against Neosho (Montana) United.  The boys, just happy that the forfeit hadn’t knocked them out of the tournament entirely, took all the lessons learned to that point and pulled off an upset, winning the game 5 goals to 3, advancing them to the semi-final round on Monday. But it was not to be. Due to the bad weather the team never returned to the pitch. Using the results of all the games played, in pool play and the championship brackets, the organizers awarded trophies.  The Golden Jets’ three early losses meant a fourth place finish. Still, that was good enough for a well-deserved trophy for the boys as a memento of their visit.
 
Coach Onibudo expressed his thanks to the Lord, the parent group, and especially to one very understanding wife for a great weekend in Orlando. While he felt certain that the forfeited game could have been won by the Golden Jets and kept them in the Gold Division, it turned out that would have been their last game as that bracket got cut off at the quarter finals with no chance for a trophy. Thus, falling to the Silver Division was an unexpected blessing!
 
Congratulations to the boys and Coach Onibudo, whose passion for soccer may now be matched by his attention to tournament seedings and schedules.  A few more tournament pictures below.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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