May 10th, 2019 turned out to be a successful event for everyone involved despite a few bumps prior to the game. The most challenging factor of the day was the weather scare for that week. According to the weather forecast, a 40% chance of rain was predicted on the day of our annual soccer tournament. The organizers of the game even considered postponing it considering the weather conditions. But I am so glad we didn’t. It is California after all and we can handle a little rain. So, that is exactly what we did.The players were also so ready to play rain or shine that their dedication showed on the field. It did rain cats and dogs for a couple of hours here and there in the morning, but after that, the weather couldn’t have been any better. Our teams were ready: South Bay Sharks, Orange County Firebirds, Downtown LA Angels and Northeast LA Dragons.
Glendale Sports Complex, where the soccer tournament is held every year, is a vast and spectacular field surrounded by hills and greenery. Even though it was empty when we first got there, by the time we were done setting it up, we made that field our own. You could see students from all the campuses just waiting for the games to begin. They came ready to cheer for their teams and wore LSI T-shirts representing their school colors. South Bay students wore blue, OC wore red, DTLA wore yellow and Northeast LA wore green.
The soccer players arrived early to squeeze in a little more time to practice on the actual field before the games started. Needless to say, they had been practicing every week with their coaches up until the day of the game. After the coaches and the program coordinators gave a little pep talk to their team players, it was show time! On one side of the huge field, you could see the OC Firebirds play against the DTLA Angels, and on the other side, it was the South Bay Sharks against the Northeast LA Dragons. No matter which direction you looked, you could see everyone getting into the game very quickly and you could hear the cheers all around the field. The students and teachers did a great job supporting their players in their own way; some used chants, songs, pompoms and even a few musical instruments.
The OC Firebirds managed to beat Downtown LA after a very close and nail biting game. And on the other side, the South Bay Sharks came out victorious against the Northeast LA Dragons. That only meant one thing: the OC Firebirds and the South Bay Sharks would play against each other in the final game in order to claim the trophy. But before the players took on the task of the final game, there was a short break where we had a fun and exciting all Girls Soccer Game. Even though the game was short and was supposed to be just for fun, the girls from all the campuses showed up and did their best on the field. Now, it was all the soccer players’ turn to cheer these female players on. And boy, they did!
After that short but fun break, it was time to get down to business again. The final game between OC and South Bay would keep everyone on the edge of their seats. The verdict was out and the OC Firebirds had risen above all!!! The hard work and patience of the players had finally paid off and you could see the excitement and satisfaction on their faces. The students, teachers and staff supporting and cheering OC all this time couldn’t have been any prouder. They did such a good job showing up for their team and helping the players stay focused on the prize throughout all the games. As a result, they won The Best School Spirit award as well. In the end, it was a triumphant day for the OC Firebirds.
Language Systems International is very fortunate to have such great teachers, staff and students in each and every school to make this a memorable day for everyone involved. Also, a big round of applause goes to all the hardworking organizers who made this event successful this year. I am already looking forward to our next tournament, aren’t you?
By Bhumika Chettiar,
(OC Program Coordinator)