The Goalie

I originally posted this article on my other website at the time of the last Olympiad but had the good sense to save it before leaving that host.  Therefore, you will note that some of the content may be dated.  Nevertheless, Sawyer, with the avid support of his parents Ethan and Laura, remains a dedicated soccer aficionado and player.  One reason for re-posting this piece is the possibility that Sawyer's professional friend, Kareem Moses, who now plays in Finland will have the opportunity to see it.  The included image now hangs on Sawyer's bedroom wall.


To say that our grandson, Sawyer, loves soccer is a big understatement.  His school attire consists of indoor soccer shoes, high socks and shirts emblazoned with names like Neymar or Messi.  Unlike many youngsters his age, his X-box and iPad run soccer simulations rather than blasters.  He attends practices, camps, professional games and watches matches on TV.  At times, his leisure books are soccer equipment catalogues.  Don't get the wrong idea about him though; at age nine, his math homework has him working with Fibonacci numbers which he understands - better than I.

So, here in the Olympic season, I will use Sawyer's dedication to illustrate a point.  I captured several dozen images of him in a recent scrimmage game, and when I asked him to identify his favorite, he chose this one.  A great choice as you will see.

Sawyer.jpg

Here, as the goalie, he's moving to block a kick.  The ball is blurred and partially hidden from us, the viewers, but Sawyer has a laser focus on it as is evident in his expression.  His coaches, viewers on the sidelines, team mates and opponents were focused with anticipation on Sawyer.  Note number 21's anxious stance.  All of the accumulated data from coaching, practicing, conditioning, observing and love of the game were aligned on his synapses, and with it he reacted and moved with precision.  Did he block the kick?  I won't say.  This post is not about whether Sawyer blocked the kick; that's irrelevant. The post is about his total effort, the effort that the olympians and others make in their/our sacrifices to achieve.  His cousins, Connor and Collin, put forth this effort to beat the swimmer's clock.  It was a great moment to watch.  It was Sawyer's moment. The supreme moment of the athlete, no matter the age or the game.  It was fantastic!