It’s known as “The Beautiful Game” in many countries around the world. And while the sport is gaining popularity in the United States, it has always been well-liked during recess in Valley Stream District 24.
With this in mind, and with the goal of bringing more spirited competition to the district, Dr. Scott Comis, principal of Brooklyn Avenue School, and the district’s phys. ed. teachers planned and executed the first soccer tournament between the three elementary schools last week.
On Oct. 29, the Robert W. Carbonaro School played host to the six-team tournament, in which each school had two teams made up of 10 boys and girls. Fifth-grade students who were interested in playing tried out for the teams earlier in the school year. Each school’s phys. ed. teachers made the selections for each of the teams. According to Comis, discussions started two years ago about organizing a soccer tournament.
Julia Cole, 10, played on the William L. Buck School’s blue team, and although she doesn’t play soccer outside of school, she made her presence felt on the field by using her speed. As her team took to the field for its second match, Cole cheered her classmates on as a substitute and said she was having a lot of fun running around.
Fellow 10-year-old Noah Bodden, of the Brooklyn Avenue School, was a key component to the green team’s offensive attack. He launched several shots off the post and crossbar and pushed the tempo for most of his team’s first match. Despite not playing organized soccer, Bodden said he was encouraged to try out for the team. “People say I’m really good at soccer and I’m really fast,” he said.
One thing that surprised him, he said, was how big the field was, but was having fun nonetheless.
Comis said there was a lot of build-up prior to the tournament and plenty of nervous energy from the students, but once they hit the field they focused on playing. “I was pleased to see the children working in unison as teammates, as well as how they handled the competitive aspect of the game,” Comis said, adding that hosting these kinds of events helps prepare young students for high school athletics.