Saturday and Sunday mornings for the last seven weeks at my home, like many soccer families, are busy with early wake-ups, breakfast on the run, organizing equipment and traveling to another city for morning soccer.
Some games result in wins and some in losses; whatever the outcome, week by week players improve. Players who have never scored a goal, score. Players who have never used their head to hit the ball finally build the courage. That combination pass that was worked on for weeks in practice finally happens in a game. Progress, courage, learning, competitive spirit, love, friendships, hard work, inspiration — all of the above has been molded and built over the last seven weeks.
The Gryphons 07 girls team has exemplified the development of their players and team this year. Earlier in the season the Gryphons 07 girls team played an Aztecs team to a 11-1 loss. But this last Saturday, the Gryphons 07 girls team lessened the gap of loss, only losing 4-0. Coach Derek Demus and Coach Chesalon Gracian have worked tirelessly to develop these young athletes in only their first year of competitive soccer.
The Gryphons 05 girls team played in Lancaster on Sunday, losing to a Lightning team 2-1. Just four weeks ago, the Gryphons 05 girls team played the Lightning team losing 4-1. This weekend's game against the Lightning team was probably the best second half of soccer the Gryphons 05 girls team has played collectively as a team all year. Taitlyn Kingsbury scored for the Gryphons 05 girls team for her eighth goal of the season.
The Gryphons 02 girls team came into their Saturday game at the top of the leaderboard and this didn’t change. The Gryphons 02 girls team went up early and finished the first half up 3-0 on two goals from Lillian Ledezma and one from Rachel Miller. The second half was no different, with Rachel Miller scoring one more and Riley Daubert scoring two of her own.
The Gryphons 04 boys team traveled to Bakersfield on Sunday, losing 9-0 to an Antelope Valley boys team that they lost 12-0 to last time. Again, coaches see improvement in little things, not just the score line.
The Gryphons 02 boys team was off this weekend, but remains at the top of their table having played one more game than a couple of other teams.
The Gryphons 06 boys team played on Saturday in Bakersfield in a losing effort. The boys lost 6-0 this time, but the last time they played this opponent they lost 9-2.
Gryphons competitive club soccer is not striving to be perfect or excellent in soccer; it's about improving oneself against the toughest of competition around Southern California. And I have to say that a little ole soccer club from Tehachapi puts up a mighty good fight and competitive game against clubs from Bakersfield, Santa Clarita, Los Angeles, Simi Valley and Lancaster, to name a few. A Bakersfield Club coach approached me this week and commented that every week he sees Gryphons teams getting better and better. Some of life’s best compliments can come from the competition.
Josh Tyree is the Gryphons Club president.