The Senior Boys soccer trip to England was one of fours. Four times we played high intensity matches against English academies. Four times we were coached in training sessions by Premier League coaching legend, Kevin MacDonald, from Aston Villa. And, on top of it all, we saw the top four teams in all of English football (as we now know to call it) play live.
The learning of a new culture in England began as soon as we landed in London and didn’t stop until we flew out one week later. And we mean this literally. Even from the first few hours, the boys were in awe of driving on the left hand side of the road and getting comfortable with beans with breakfast.
One of the most important things the boys learned was the value of dedication. In our team discussion with Kevin MacDonald, he detailed to the squad his journey of getting to the top and the personal cost to him. Although there were things in his life that had to be sacrificed, Kevin explained to the group that often it is what it takes if you want to be the best of the best.
Another example of this commitment to being the best was when we played our last game of the tour at Brookhouse College. Brookhouse is a boarding school that has their students spend half the day studying and the other half playing football. Students are there from all over the world, but the team was particularly able to see the dedication of the players put in perspective when we played against a boy who had come from Markham, Ontario. This was one of the greatest lessons on the trip for the boys when it comes to the commitment we have for both sport and other areas of our lives.
The trip was full of memories that we won’t ever forget. Playing Euchre with Mr. Townsend, trivia with Ms. Bland, and even losing to Mr. Milonas in skittles. On behalf of the team we’d like to give our sincere thank you to Ms. Bland, Mr. Townsend, and Mr. Milonas for granting us the chance to go on one of the greatest trips in the history of high schools. It would not have been possible without them.
We undoubtedly learned very much in our time spent in the U.K., but the biggest takeaway for the squad was how we grew together as a team. Whether that was Mason calling you a “BEAUTY” first thing in the morning or spending bus rides laughing and telling stories. For the rest of our time here, with every player on the team, we know we have each other’s backs. And it’s hard to put a price on that.