These are the little orange Crushes. Ruth's soccer team... also known as The Crush! She had her first game tonight. I was able to make a quick escape from work tonight and made it in time to watch the last half. Talk about entertaining. If you've never watched a mini team of soccer players you have missed something! I don't remember Bennett's team being this entertaining. Maybe I expected him to actually perform and I don't expect that from Ruth or her teammates. Who knows, but I'm enjoying watching them. It's a small herd of 16 feet all going after the same ball. Well, maybe just 14 feet because one set is probably stuck in the middle of the field stomping on the grasshoppers or checking out the clouds or waving to their mother/father/grandma/sibling/friend/neighbor/stranger. It doesn't matter. They are having FUN! Goals were made. Cheers were cheered. I know there was someone counting them all up but I don't think the kids know the numbers. This team is U-6, which means they are all 4 or 5 as of September 1st. They have little experience with team play or soccer skills. They know they are supposed to kick the ball and try to go in the right direction but there are no skills. No passing EVER! In fact, if your teammate is kicking the ball you're allowed to go push them down in order to have your turn at kicking. It's an odd set of rules these little people follow. The coaches are almost as fun to watch as the kids. I took a couple pictures of Ruth playing and in doing so caught Coach Adams in some funny expressions. Pointing the right direction. Helping remind to kick, not catch. Helping Riley stand up and run the right way. She is a very patient lady! I don't remember thinking that about Coach Jones 3 years ago. We wanted strategy and form. We wanted skills. We like players who have skills! :) Poor Ruth looked so tired tonight. She ran really hard, as did most of her teammates. But they just aren't used to running around with purpose for 30+ minutes. She told her coach she was tired and told me her legs were tired of running... but she didn't quit. She would plop down in the chair and drink as hard as she could then take that big, deep, heavy sigh. In this picture of her resting on the sidelines she was listening to Riley's daddy talk to him about "staying focused and going after the ball". Riley really doesn't seem too interested in actually kicking the ball with purpose, but Ruth was very intent on listening to the directions. Riley (and his family) goes to our church and we know them well. He was also in our NICU for many, many weeks. Yes, he's a graduated premie and still has some catching up to do... mostly in his size. He is A-dor-able! And he's hilarious to watch. His parents are very patient with him and they are fun to watch too. :) He's #4 in the line and also in the middle of the team photo, holding the ball. I could write all night about how cute she was... but bedtime is drawing nigh.