Fairfield Soccer Friendlies was a huge hit. FSFC was supposed to put on a tournament the weekend on the 28th and unfortunately Lonestar Soccer Association out of Teague backed out the week of because they did not want to play each other and pay money for it. The unfortunate reality of a tournament is that you never know who will register or how many teams you will have. So, the soccer association had to disappoint every kid that had been practicing so hard to play that weekend. It was really frustrating that trophies were ordered, things were put into place, and no consideration was taken to all the back work that took place to make the tournament a reality. This was a disappointment but not unexpected as situations that had taken place in the past. FSFC gave them back half their money and ate the loss personally. The Good Lord has a great way to turn bad into good. At the moment that the word was out of a possible cancellation, Tiffany Anderson made calls, sent text, and invited as many cities to Fairfield for what became the Fairfield Soccer Friendlies on November 4th and 5th. It was a blessing in disguise as teams from Jacksonville, Crockett, Palestine, and Athens joined a few of our own Fairfield teams to create a weekend of pure fun. The weekend was full of fun and fellowship mixed in with great emotion during exciting match ups and games.

We only hosted two divisions with five teams per division. The 10U division consisted of the Athens Hornets, Jacksonville Vipers, Athens Patriots, Fairfield Wolves, and Fairfield Ninjas. All of these teams came to play with heart and against teams with big hearts and passion for the game as well. There was great competition, passionate parents, and awesome coaches. No conflict took place during this wonderful weekend. That says a lot about the character of everyone that came out. The 12U division included three teams from Palestine, Barcelona, Pink Dragons, and Tigres. It also included the Union USA from Crockett and Pheonix from Fairfield. The competition and level of play was exceptional but what made it great was the passion that not only the kids had for the game, but the passion and integrity each coach had as well. Again, on this field, there was no drama or conflict which made for a smooth day. Games went into night hours as they started from 8am and did not end until 10:15pm. The top four teams went into Sunday and the 10u included the Jacksonville Vipers against the Athens Patriots. The Jacksonville Vipers were seen as the underdogs, new coaches that stepped in to help coach their granddaughters team, a new team of girls with a few you boys helping out against a team of great players who knew the game, knew how to pass, and had a coach with tons of knowledge. As in any tournament, the tables can turn at any moment and even though the Patriots were seen as the most skilled team, the Jacksonville Vipers came in with something to prove and beat them to get into the championship game. The next 10U game was between two top rivals in our very own city, the Wolves and the Ninjas. Two board members head coach the teams, and on the field, it is pure competition. Both teams played hard but unfortunately the Wolves took a lost. The Ninjas have always been the underdog and this year, they have stepped up and dominated as the older 10U team with most of their team pure 10U and mixed with some 9U players, during the season they tied with a record of one win, one loss, and one draw with the Wolves who came in as a pure 9U team. The Wolves beat them in the season by 1 extra goal. During this friendly, they were able to pull from other teams so the play would be a little different than during regular season but the coaches did not take it easy at all. As they came face to face in this friendly game, the emotions were high, the intensity was on ten and the Ninjas took the win. The Ninjas beat the Wolve 3-1 to get into the championship game. The 12U semi final games were just as intense. Unfortunately, the Pheonix did not make it into the finals but were able to play one more game because of the Union USA not coming back. The first game was the Pink Dragons versus the Barcelona. The Pink Dragons is an all girl team with some skill and heart. They played their hearts out all weekend but took the loss and Barcelona was in for the Championship game. Instead of giving the Tigres a bye because of the drop out, the Tigres went against the Pheonix where the Pheonix did take a win but for the fairness of the game, the Tigres went into the championship because of the wins that they had from the previous day and the spot they earned for Sundays game. So, the championship game between the Ninjas and Vipers for 10U was one intense game. A team that was unsure they would make it to day 2, fighting for a win but ready for anything against a team that was confident yet unsure of what may take place. The game was full of skill, great saves by the goalies, and passion on both sides from coaches. It was from a penalty kick from a hand ball in the box that the Vipers took the lead. Unfortunately the Ninjas ran out of time to come back and the Vipers took the win. The joy and the happiness from those kids and coaches made every hour on the field worth it. The Ninjas finished with head held high as they did an awesome job. As far as the 12U, the Barcelona faced the Tigres who are rivals at home and team Barcelona took the win. Both teams played great against each other as cheered each other on when they were not agains each other. The coaches were full of class and a great set of parents as well. Fairfield Soccer FC wants to thank all teams that came out and supported our Friendlies! Fairfield Soccer FC could not have made this possible without all the volunteers that helped make this possible. Rachel Scott and her kids manned the concession for a majority of the time, Amanda Whittlesey, Paula Zwicker, and Kaitlyn Neidich who helped keep the registration table afloat. The city of Fairfield, Sunbelt rentals, and Top Line rentals, made sure lights were placed and fields were ready. The city council, Mayor Roy Hill, John Gallegos, Capps True Value & Ag supply, and David Houseright made sure the new concession building was ready and full of everything needed. Hometown Pharmacy donated funds to help out, Frito Lay donated chips, Something Different donated Nachos stuff, and In Thee Beginning donated popcorn and Gatorades. This community is one great support system that has truly helped make the association itself possible. Most of all, we want to thank Charles Neidich for his countless hours and time to maintaining fields, keeping equipment right, building benches, being an active board member, and an official referee; Veronica Miller and Tiffany Anderson who has worked extremely hard, put in countless hours of preparation, active members on the board, and official referees that are on the fields no matter when they are needed. Last but not least, we want to thank our referees that worked hard this weekend and throughout the season. They did back to back games this weekend and took it like champs.

Christopher Scott, Tierra West, Justin Campbell, and Jada Clark. FSFC is truly blessed to have a great hub of support and even more so, a great group of parents, kids, and coaches.

Submitted by Fairfield Soccer FC.