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Riverdale Boys and Girls Club Wins Tournament

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By Jack Jones

The Riverdale Boys and Girls Club (RBGC) started its soccer program four years ago with one team. Las fall the program had grown to five teams and a soccer clinic, up from three teams and a smaller clinic in 1997. In 1998 RBGC started a spring soccer program with two teams and this year we had three teams. One of these teams, the 10 and Under coached by Peter Grant, won in the county's American League.

They then had an exciting play off with National League champions Marlboro Boys and Girls Club. The game was an energetic back and forth game with Marlboro finally bettering Riverdale 3 goals to 2 goals. A high point was when several of the Marlboro parents came over after the game and complimented the team for its good sportsmanship and challenging play.

On May Day, the Riverdale team entered a tournament with College Park, Beltsville, and Hyattsville. The tournament ended in a three-way-tie between BBGC, HBGC and RBGC, each with 2 wins and 1 loss. The next tie breaker was how teams did head to head, again a tie because BBGC won against RBGC, RBGC won against HBGC, and HBGC won against BBGC. The next tie breaker was to eliminate the team with the most points scored against it. That eliminated HBGC and left BBGC and RBGC with a ten minute "sudden death" play off. Even the more laid back parents where showing considerable excitement by now. Finally it was time for the "sudden death".

The teams took the field, there was the kick off, both teams were putting all their effort into a defensive game while trying to find that break to begin an offense. A couple of minutes into the game the break came when "PJ" Grant spotted a hole in the right side of Beltsville's defense and started dribbling down the side line with a challenger shoulder to shoulder on his left. Riverdale's center forward and left forward took

off at full tilt to get to the Beltsville goal to be in place for a pass or to play a deflected ball. "PJ", running at full speed, a few yards from the sideline, got to about fine yards from the goal line and gave a mighty side kick that was so hard he spun around and fell to the ground. The ball lifted in the air pass the challenger and flew in a curved arch over the goalie into the corner of the goal. One could not have written a better scene for a movie, even the Beltsville team was cheering the shot.

And that was the game Riverdale #2, 10 and Under, the team with the gold socks had won the tournament through great team work. I as, Soccer Commissioner RBGC, thank you, Ivan Diaz, Leandro Grant, Peter Grant, Galen Jones, Robyn Jones, David Kadan, Jordan Lacey, Joshua Lacey, Belai Lencho, Johnny Luna, Austin Morgan, Zack Morgan, and coach Peter Grant, for a game and a season well played.

I also want to thank all the parent of the children who help in all sorts of ways by seeing a need and pitching in to fill that need. I also want to thank the Officers and Board of the Riverdale Boys and Girls Club for all the off field team work that is necessary to provide a full Academic Year sports Program. The children in my rural town, when I was young, would have been happy with just a flat field to play on. I am glad we can offer what we do and I hope some day soon we can offer more.

I have been talking with members of the RBGC about the possibility of a year round sports program for soccer. Our first effort will be a summer soccer program. We will welcome more children and of course more parents to help with coaching, team parenting, and all the other off field team work needed.

What I would like to see if we can work it out, is a program that concentrates on having children on the field playing soccer; that is teams with no substitutes. There would be coaching and critiquing of games during breaks. We would intend to be flexible in making decisions that lead to more field play. I would like to run the program during May, June, July, and later, if we can find a large enough interior space, December, January, and February.

Parents and children who are interest in helping get an "off season" soccer program going call Jack Jones, Soccer Commissioner RBGC at 301-277-2242 or write to me at 4715 Rittenhouse Street, Riverdale Park, MD 20737.

Jack Jones is Soccer Commissioner for the Riverdale Boys & Girls Club.

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