By Kevin Parada, Staff Writer
On Saturday, October 22, the Verbum Dei Soccer team hosted an invitational tournament called Grades 4 Goals on the campus athletic field, in which teams from Saint Mary’s Academy, Nicks Kids, and Olympian Club Soccer participated. This tournament was prepared for each team as part of their soccer winter leagues. Perfect weather, ideal field conditions, and the energy that every person brought made the experience even better.
By the end of the tournament, Verbum Dei High School’s third team composed of the following players came up on top: Eric Ramirez, Kevin Parada, Justin Funez, Jose Robles, Joseph Pablini, and Daniel de Mota. This team played four games and scored above 7 goals per game. The team went undefeated to win the first-place trophy.
Xavier Robles was a member of the second Verbum Dei team and scored approximately nine goals through the six games he played.
“Due to this tournament, I have established an incredible bond with my teammates as well as made new friends from Saint Mary’s Academy, said Robles. “I now know my weaknesses, my strengths, and know where to improve to make it to varsity.”
“I enjoyed the tournament,” Angelica Taylor, captain of the Saint Mary’s Academy team, said. “I got to practice with bigger opponents and [use] some skills that I wouldn’t get to practice by myself; it made me grow as a better player.”
“There should’ve been more teams as well as female teams to even out the tournament and let teams rest, said Erica [last name omitted]. “Overall, I enjoyed seeing the many skills that each team brought, so I can apply them to my games.”
“The main purpose of this tournament was for every team to establish where each player belongs in the rankings, to create a bond with different people with the same circumstances, and to introduce some students to competitive soccer if they have not yet been a part of,” said VDHS Soccer Coach Oscar Rosa.
This event served as preparation – physical, mental, and emotional – for each participating team.