Over winter break, the Archer Varsity soccer and basketball teams traveled to tournaments to play new opponents and spend more time together in the weeks leading up to league competition.
Soccer kicked off the vacation with the annual Bellflower, California, tournament. The team’s older players were veterans to the location and the ambiance. They welcomed the new freshmen to their first Varsity tournament experience with open arms. Freshman Lindsay Cayton ‘16 says that her “favorite soccer memories come from tournaments because we all bond and the team isn’t separated by upperclassmen and underclassmen.”
The soccer team journeyed to a local California Pizza Kitchen between the first two games and found themselves packed into a crowded booth learning more about each other and, of course, the best pasta dishes on the menu. Looking around the restaurant, one could see the parents, coaches, and players alike laughing and chatting. The lively environment translated back onto the field in the afternoon through a high-energy, communicative game.
Meanwhile, the basketball team traveled to San Diego over the vacation to participate in Surf’ n’ Slam tournament. They played games, spent time together in their hotel, and attended an NFL game. Junior and co-captain, Maia Barnett ‘14 enthusiastically told the Oracle about the game: “it was amazing to see [it] in person!”
Many of Archer’s travel tournaments allow competition with non-league teams that present new challenges to the players. Maia loves Surf’ n’ Slam for giving her and her teammates the “opportunity to play teams from all over the US.”
The competition was fierce and although Archer did not bring home any wins, Rachel Magnin ‘15 notes that the team “had a very fun time playing” anyway.
The soccer team rang in 2013 with another tournament, the Lady Pirate tournament in San Pedro. More than ever, the team recognized how fortunate they were to be together to play the sport they love. Just days after the news of Mr. Hartsfield’s unexpected passing, teammates and coaches joined together to dedicate each game to the beloved photography teacher and mentor. Coaches Kim and Amelia reminded the girls to cherish their moments together and look for strength, comfort, and support in the game of soccer and their experience together.
Even more than the ability to practice over break against new opponents, the teams recognized the biggest take-away of their winter break tournaments was the time spent together. Teammates sacrificed a few days of their vacations to play with each other and represent Archer. From the experience of these winter tournaments, one can see that Archer Athletics is marked by dedication not only to the sport but also to the team.
Featured Image: The soccer team in Bellflower. Photo Credit: Archer Athletics