Team Placements are not Grades

It’s tryout season. You send your player out to the field with a number pinned to their shirt. You’ve prepared them well. They ate a good breakfast, got lots of rest, and arrived with all their gear. Tryouts come and go and your player has not made the 1st team. They made the B team. How could this happen? How do I respond? Does this mean she has failed? Do they need to choose another sport or find a new club?

Back in grade school when I was learning math, my friend Jeff was in the advanced math group. He completed his math quickly and earned high praise for his work. I performed near the middle of the class. I also completed my work quickly and achieved high marks. The only difference is Jeff and I were working on different problems. It’s a good thing I wasn’t in Jeff’s advanced group, too. Advanced math would have been far too difficult for me at the time and I would have spent more time struggling than learning. My parents trusted my teacher to choose a math group that matched my skill level. They trusted her to pick a group so that I could grow and learn at my level.

Now the subject isn’t math, it’s soccer, or futsal. Players are still placed in groups but this time the groups are teams. Jeff makes the B team and I make the A team. Just like in school, our parents trusted our coaches to choose a team that matched our skill level.

In large clubs that form multiple teams in an age group, players and parents can make the mistake of viewing A teams and B teams like grades. My player is on the B team so they must be doing B work. No! All teams, whether the 1st or 4th are created to give a challenge appropriate to each teams’ collective level. If your player is placed on the B team, this is the placement that will suit them. This is not a reflection of their status.

The opportunity to play club soccer in the US is a blessing. If you are reading this, it is likely that your player is able to join a club and play on a team where they have access to quality fields, quality coaches, and a competition level that matches their own. This is an incredible privilege - a privilege that many children do not have.

Parents need to remove the stigma of A teams and B teams and view them like math groups. Teams are players placed in groups that match their current level. Teachers are professionals who use their expertise to create groups that give appropriate challenges and successes to their math students. Coaches are sport professionals who use their expertise to create teams that give appropriate challenges and successes to their players.

If your player attends a try-out this year, be thankful that a group of professional coaches has evaluated your child’s ability and then chosen a team that will give them an appropriate challenge. Be thankful that their placement will help them grow as a person, and as a player.

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MFA Directors Selected for U.S. Futsal Coaching Team


Congratulations to our very own Fabian Rodriguez and Jessie Zamudio for being selected to be part of the 2018 USYF National I.D. Trials Staff.

Fabian Rodriguez has also been selected to be part of the coaching staff of the USYF National teams trip to Medellin, Colombia for International friendlies this Summer.

Read the Press Release below:

(June 1, 2018) - U.S. Youth Futsal has announced the coaching staff for its 2018 National I.D. Trials, which will take place from June 29-30 in New Century and Overland Park, Kan.

The event brings together the top players born between 2000-2008 from across the country who have attended U.S. Youth Futsal State Identification Trials in seventeen cities throughout the past ten months.

Led by U.S Youth Futsal Technical Director and 20 years U.S. Mens Futsal National Team Head Coach Keith Tozer and Director of Goalkeeping Otto Orf, players will participate in two training sessions and four games during the two-day camp. More than 520 players from 34 states will be guided by 26 coaches from 15 states.

"We have assembled a tremendous coaching staff," said Tozer, who is also a FIFA Futsal Instructor. "These men and women are exceptional at teaching the game of Futsal."

The best players in the country will be selected for U.S. Youth Futsal National Teams.

"The National Trials are a high level, competitive, fun training camp that will prepare players to compete for their country in the near and long-term future." said Jon Parry, who is the Executive Director of United States Youth Futsal Organization.

The 2000 (01) , 2002 and 2003 age groups will travel to Medellín, Colombia
on July 23. Teams at the 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 age groups will travel to Lisbon, Portugal or Canada on Dec. 26.


Coaching Staff:

Dante Bayliss-Garcia; Columbus, Ohio
William Beaman; Fort Collins, Colo.
Tom Bellen; Merrimack, N.H.
Diego Bobadilla-Mireles; Milwaukee, Wisc.
Chris Booker; Whitesville, Ky.
Craig Canavan; LaGrangeville, N.Y.
Fabio Caresia; Overland Park, Kan.
Brian Catrine; North Oaks, Minn.
Carlos Cruz; Fort Wayne, Ind.
Allison Cuiksa; Berea, Ohio
Jimmy Deutsch; Gilbert, Ariz.
Joe Farrell, Richmond, VA
Dusan Jakica; Eden Prairie, Minn.
Kevin Jackson; Charleston, S.C.
Declan Jogi; Overland Park, Kan.
James Kavanagh, Sacramento, Calif.
Jeff Lamy; Lowell, Mass.
Mark Litton; Milwaukee, Wisc.
Ricky Pinto; Kansas City, Kan.
Mary Rea; Rock Hill, S.C.
Fabian Rodriguez; Grand Rapids, Mich.
Alex Tozer; Milwaukee, Wisc.
Lee Tschantret; Towson, Md.
Jessie Zamudio; Grand Rapids, Mich.

Visit for more information.34048638_1361639720602948_6369539815406305280_o

The Blank Page

Have you ever sat down to write a paper, or work on a project and spent some time staring at the blank page or screen? That blank page can be intimidating. It can be challenging. It can cause us to dream of all it could be, and instill fear of what we’re getting ourselves into. But when that paper or project is done, it is so rewarding to look back at the finished project and to celebrate the journey that took us from that blank page to the finished product.


It’s a new year, which means new opportunities, new challenges, and new blank pages staring at us. It’s a time to look back at the previous year, to celebrate the story that was written, and to look ahead and determine what we want to fill the blank pages with. It’s a time for reflection and for dreaming, for seeing challenges and opportunities.IMG_6202

For us here at MFA, 2017 was quite the story. As most of you know, in 2017 River City FC became a part of Michigan Sports Academies. Joining MSA meant new possibilities and also new challenges. After 4 years of pursuing dreams we had, and making decisions on our own, we became a part of a much bigger team. This invited a larger vision and a greater mission. This transition included teaming up with ABK, adding staff members, serving even more athletes and becoming a small piece in a larger puzzle. Our passion for teaching life through sports simply has a greater platform, and we will be able to achieve more together than ever before.

This was our story in 2017. You each have a story of  your own. You have lives that go far beyond what we are doing. You have kids that are brilliant, creative, and just plain awesome. Kids that blow our minds on a daily basis with the tenacity and enthusiasm that they approach life with. Kids that are going to change the world. For that reason, the last year of change has been beyond worth it for us.

Grassroots at Garfield-50

We don’t know what 2017 held for all of you. Maybe 2017 was a year of hurt and loss, maybe it was a year of victories and overcoming, maybe it was a year that brought the unexpected. What we do know is this; you each have a blank slate staring at you pleading the question “What kind of story will you write?”. You can occupy those pages with a plethora of things. We can only imagine what 2018 will hold; the breakthroughs our athletes will have, the challenges they will overcome, the improvements they will make, and the dreams that will come true. Today we challenge you to fill those blank pages with stories that evoke life, passion, and purpose- and know that we are committed to walking alongside you in that journey.

It’s an honor to serve you and your family. Here’s to a new year and to blank pages. #WHATSYOURWHY


ABK Players Selected to U.S. Youth National Team

Local ABK Futsal players received word early last week they would have the opportunity to represent the United States in the international futsal tournament held in San Jose, Costa Rica July 23-30. 

As part of the selection process, players took part in the fourth annual U.S. Youth Futsal National I.D. Trials in Overland Park, Kansas.

Players who made teams traveling to Costa Rica are Chessie Mac Anaspie, Braeleigh McCoy, Allie Mairn, Taylor Rank, Jonathan Stout and Megan Clayton.

“I am incredibly proud of all these players,” said ABK Director Jose Fabian Rodriguez.  “Each one of them went through a rigorous assessment during the National ID camp and were selected as the best of the best by the US coaching staff.  We are looking forward to seeing them play against international teams this coming week. ”

ABK was originally founded to provide young athletes of diverse backgrounds an opportunity to compete at the highest level of futsal possible by educating them on futsal and life values. These values include leadership, teamwork, work ethic, respect and honesty.

Today ABK is ranked as one of the top futsal academies in the United States and regularly fields teams that capture national titles.

Futsal is the only form of indoor soccer recognized by FIFA.  It is a very fast-paced game played with a smaller, heavier ball on a basketball-sized court, with four players and a keeper.  

United States Youth Futsal is the largest U.S. Soccer affiliated futsal organization in the United States. Launched in 2004, U.S. Youth Futsal oversees more than 100 local leagues from Seattle to Florida to San Diego to New Hampshire. U.S. Youth Futsal annually hosts 8 Regional Championships and 1 National Championship.

The U.S. Youth Futsal I.D. program includes 9 Regional I.D. Camps and 1 National I.D. Camp, from which youth national teams are selected. It is led by U.S. Youth Futsal Technical Director (and USMNFT Head Coach) Keith Tozer.

Michigan Futbol Academy aspires to create consistent opportunities such as this for players in both futsal and soccer. Best of luck to all players competing this week!  


"Grittin" After it


After every game and practice in the month of May, coach Eric picks out a specific player who displayed exceptional grit. “In the huddle at the end of our second game at the Cherry Capital Cup, the players told me who the grit player of the game was before I even mentioned it. The unanimous decision was Noah McGraw, our central defender.”

The 06 Fever boys were flying that second game of the tournament, displaying grit in a way they never had before.

They ended up losing 4-2 to a very talented opponent, however that loss ended up being Noah’s favorite game. “We went 2-1 in the tournament, but my favorite game was the one we lost because I like how it challenged me.”

During their last game Sunday morning an opposing team’s parents commented from the sideline, “Whoever that Noah kid is, man he never stops moving.” Various River City parents added, “He is a brick house, it was like watching a new kid out there. His speed and skills have come a long way. He definitely deserved the grit award of the tournament.”

“His drastic improvement is a direct result of him continuing to give his best.” explained Coach Eric. “It’s a cliche saying, however not every player lives it out. Noah has. And it’s helped take our team to a new level and everyone on the field has noticed.”

For his exceptional example of grit, especially amidst challenges, Noah has been chosen for the #BeyondTheField #BallinCharacter award! Thanks for being a great example Noah, we can learn a lot from athletes such as yourself!

Self-Control: Ballin Character Award for the #09Crenzy


Earlier this Spring, Coach Derek brought a #09Crenzy (a combination of players from 09 Craze and Frenzy teams) team to compete in a tournament.  Through a surprisingly successful series of games, the team advanced to the finals on Sunday.  The game was very even for the entire first half, until a few misjudged calls from the referee left the girls trailing 3-0 early in the second half. The players were quickly confused and discouraged by the referees decisions, and were never quite able to get back in the game.

Before they went to receive their 2nd place medals, coach Derek had an important chat with them. “We can’t control the ref’s calls, we can only control how we respond. You can be upset. You can let it ruin your experience this weekend. Or you can choose to be proud of how well you played.”

Is that hard to do? Yes. Does it mean they won? No. Coach Derek made sure to talk to the refs to ensure next time they make the correct call. After all, refs are human and make mistakes too.

The girls decided to choose to look at the weekend as an overall success, not a demoralizing defeat, even when decisions that were outside of their control went against them. For that, they receive the “Ballin Character” award for April for living out self-control.

This May, we’re introducing Grit as a new core value, one of the couple that have been added to our 10 #BeyondTheField Core Values. These new core values will be revealed at our Open House on June 13 from 6-8pm at MSA Fieldhouse.

Click here to read an exceptional example of grit and how we can play a part of cultivating gritty players. The strong will to compete and to give it your best is contagious when one sees it in action. Many of us in competitive sports can think of that one teammate who consistently gave it their best. Not only in games but also in practice.

What if a whole team had the grit of Messi to spit out his tooth and keep playing, of Jordan to compete in the playoffs with the flu and not be able to walk off the court. The development, the fun, and the lessons learned would be amazing.

The hunger and drive to always give it your best applies not only applies to sports, but to school, work, relationships, or anything else in life. Never settle for anything but your best. On the tired days, on the hard days, on the rainy days, make the choice to always give it your best and continue moving forward. #GritHungry

ABK Joins the MSA Family

ABK Announcement

One of the nation’s premier youth training and competition organizations, Michigan Sports Academies (MSA), is proud to announce the addition of ABK Futsal Academy, the top youth futsal academy in the nation! ABK Futsal Academy will join Michigan Futbol Academy, alongside River City FC. This addition will provide the optimal environment for athletes to develop throughout the entire year in both soccer and futsal.


ABK Futsal Academy is heading into it’s 6th year of providing quality Futsal products for boys and girls ages 3-19. Fabian Rodriguez is the founder and director of coaching of ABK and started the club in 2012. Fabian was first introduced to Futsal in 1996 by a Brazilian exchange student. This led into an interest in the sport and the many similarities he saw in the street soccer game he grew up playing. In 2001, he started using the game of futsal as a teaching tool to further develop soccer players. In 2008, Fabian started Ole SC and implemented an internal summer and winter futsal program to compliment his youth soccer training. The program continued to develop and became the initiation of the futsal movement that we see today which has led to the creation of futsal leagues, camps, training, tournaments and eventually the ABK Futsal Academy.


  • 15 U.S. Youth Futsal Regional Titles (USYF)
  • 10 U.S. Futsal Regional Titles (USFF)
  • 3 World Futsal Championships Titles (USA FUTSAL)
  • 5 U.S. Youth Futsal National Championship Titles (USYF)
  • 2 U.S. Adult Futsal National Championship Titles (USAF)
  • 3 ABK Men’s players selected to the U.S. Men’s National Futsal Team (US SOCCER)
  • 5 ABK Men’s players selected from the Professional Futsal League combines (PFL)

ABK’s Vision:

To bring futsal to the forefront of youth American sports and produce players that can compete at the highest levels of the game.

ABK’s Mission:

To provide young athletes of diverse backgrounds an opportunity to compete at the highest level of futsal possible by educating them both on and off the court. These players will be able to enhance their abilities to be successful in a game that relies on proper technique and dynamic decisions.

Read more through the news release/FAQ's document.

“If you’re looking to choose a futsal program look no further than ABK. I have worked closely with their staff and they have one of the best futsal programs in the United States. They know how to build high level players, along with building life skills and character. I now have players on the U.S. National Team who grew up in their program, I couldn’t recommend them more highly!”

- Keith Tozer

U.S. Men’s National Futsal Head Coach

Commissioner of the Professional Futsal League

Defining ourselves. #07Craze

Back in February, our #07Craze girls participated in a competitive futsal tournament. The team played well over the weekend, winning all of their games convincingly. Since the start of the tournament, the girls couldn’t stop talking about wanting to win one of the elegant trophies on display.

After their championship win, the girls giddily approached the trophy table. They waited their turn as an older boys team snapped pictures with their new trophy. When it came to be the girls’ turn, they were surprised to hear the words, “Congratulations girls, here are your....participation medals!” Tears flowed immediately. Suddenly their sense of accomplishment became sheer discouragement.

Coach Derek’s heart sunk as he shared his players’ disappointment. He called his little soldiers in to gather around him, tears and all. As the team they beat in the finals received their participation awards, he took a moment to go #BeyondTheField: “Girls, I’m so sorry that you didn’t get the trophy that you wanted. In my mind, you’ve earned it. But you don’t need a trophy to define you.”

John Wooden, one of the most successful coaches of all time, explains, “Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.”

Trophies don’t define us. Our effort of becoming our best does. Here at River City FC, part of our mission is to develop Capability in our players: growing them to become who they are fully capable of.

So....if we are not defined by our accomplishments, what defines you?



From Rwanda to the River City: Round 2

Each year, soccer becomes more accessible to the youth of Grand Rapids thanks to the efforts of a number of committed families and local businesses going #BeyondTheField.  Dick's Sporting Goods is one such business.  It is due to their generosity that the boys in the picture above were outfitted with Nike indoors for their league at MSA Woodland this winter. 

Many of these young and talented players were identified through the outreach program provided by the River City Futbol Club.  The outreach program began three years ago as a free soccer camp at Martin Luther King Park.  Since that time,  the program has expanded tremendously to a number of parks throughout Grand Rapids and serving a number of disadvantaged youth in the community who would not have access to soccer otherwise.

Some of the young men currently participating on our refugee soccer teams came to the area in the last 3-5 years fleeing the war and political turmoil of their native Rwanda.  As a result of the RCFC outreach program, currently 34 high school refugees (some pictured below) are participating in a one of a kind soccer opportunity.  They are playing club soccer this winter and spring and have been offered an opportunity to showcase their talents potentially leading to a chance to play in college.



We've now formed two different teams, a younger and an older age group team. Coach Eric Hollis and Coach Jeff Merritt  have been transporting the players in the 15 passenger van (pictured below) or in their own personal vehicle to get the boys to and from practice and games.  Occasionally the players are able to use public transportation thanks to the Rapid who has generously provided bus passes for the boys. 

Eric Brown, one of the young refugee players stated that,  "Almost all of us know each other from the same camp in Rwanda. Our only access to soccer in the United States has been playing for fun in parks or the streets as the weather has permitted but for the past couple of months, we've been allowed to train and play games at MSA Woodland once a week and it has been awesome."

Coach Jeff Merritt is the practice and game coach of the older boys,  “It’s been an adjustment for these boys to play organized soccer but it has been an awesome experience to see them grow as players and as a team. The boys are skilled, they love the game, and with a little bit of organization they are playing well against premier level teams in the area. "  

Through coaching these boys, we've found three different ways that YOU can help our work with our refugee friends:

  1. We are in need of donations of black soccer socks. Black ones are preferred, however we’ll take any!  If you would like to donate socks please drop them off at the MSA Woodland front desk anytime in the next 2 weeks.

  2. We are also in need of adult sized shin guards. Please drop them off at the front desk at MSA Woodland anytime in the next 2 weeks!

  3. Most importantly, we are in need of volunteers who can assist us with collecting documentation for their international clearance to play in sanctioned outdoor leagues!   If you are interested helping in this way, please email!

Thanks for making the game more accessible to ALL of the youth in Grand Rapids!

Responsibility and Respect...let's "flush" these words out

After a fustal training last week, coach Cam huddled up with a group of 6-7 year olds. "What's the core value of the month?" "Responsibility!" They resounded. Cam then asked how they live it out. A bold six year old replied loudly, "I flush the toilet every time because it makes my parents proud."

So if we can "flush" out the meaning of his funny comment, he's already understanding that his everyday decisions affect others in a positive or negative. Because his parents might think he's a "turd" if he didn't right?! ;)

All joking aside, in January RCFC players learned responsibility is taking ownership and being accountable for your actions. Additionally, leaders can be responsible for others and help the team by holding one another to a standard of excellent choices. 

The core value for February is respect. Our slogan is that respect is given, not earned. We respect everyone and we respect ourselves. From a sport perspective, we also respect our opponent. Here's an amazing example of respect from a recent speech by tennis star Roger Federer (pictured below).

RCFC is well-known for how our parents, players, and coaches respect others in GVSA. We've consistently ranked at the top of the league in how we live out respect. However, there's always room for improvement. Let's continue to think how we can respect others more and create a culture where respect is given unconditionally, not earned.

RCFC Joins the MSA Family!

MSA Announcement

Parents of River City FC,

It is with great pleasure that I get to share this exciting news with you today...

The #RascalNation has just joined the Michigan Sports Academies (MSA) family, with the pursuit of providing the best possible sports experience for the kids in our city, especially your children.

MSA has specialized in volleyball and basketball programming, through their entities of Michigan Volleyball Academy (MVA) and Michigan Basketball Academy (MBA).  They are now in the lacrosse market with their Michigan Lacrosse Academy (MLXA) as well.  In the past 6 months, MSA has purchased 3 of the largest, nicest soccer facilities in West Michigan: the Fieldhouse, Woodland, and Sports Spot.  This is where we come in.

Effective immediately, River City FC will now be the epicenter for all soccer programming that is to take place through the MSA organization.  We will operate under the new entity, "Michigan Futbol Academy (MFA)".  By no means does this mean that we are losing our culture.

We are eager to bring the whole of who we are into what MSA has built.  From Character to Capability to Community, our mission will remain the same.  From Little Rascals to Rascals to Revolution, our programs will still kick butt.  Our amazing staff will continue to be committed to learning and growing with your athletes, on and off the field.

How, then, will this change?  Joining the MSA family will allow us to have an even greater impact on the young athletes in this city.  Our mission and vision will reach more kids.  Our programs will flourish in their new facilities.  We are eager to offer consistent programming at our new fields.  For those of you who have been with us for the past few seasons, welcome home.  We did it!

So, my dear friends, I ask that you reign in the New Year with River City FC as we embark upon the next chapter in our story..  We understand that there are many questions that come to mind during this transition.  We hope that we have addressed them in our FAQ's document.

Come on over to MSA Woodland tonight (Jan 3) to join us in our new home!  We'll be there from 4:30-9 PM.  Looking forward to celebrating with you!


The Big Rascal

Genuine Gratitude

Coach, thank you so much,” said Francois as he extended his hand for a firm handshake from coach Derek. “He does it every time I pick him up and drop him off for futsal,” said Derek. Francois is a 12 year old refugee from Rwanda who expresses gratitude at every opportunity. For his consistent gratitude, Francois receives the #BallinCharacter award for the month of November.

As an MSA employee was closing up the facility after practice, he asked if any of our coaches wanted some of the leftover popcorn or hot dogs. I suggested that the food should go to the seven refugees that Derek drives to and from practice. Francois took notice of my statement and walked over, looked me in the eye, and shook my hand as he explained how thankful he was for everything we do for him.

You can literally feel his genuine gratitude when he thanks you. His intentionality, eyes, words, and actions show that he really means it. When someone consistently goes out of their way genuinely thank you, it makes you appreciate them and want to serve them even more. Thank you Francois for reminding us to consistently live grateful lives and to not take anything for granted.

We hope November gave players tangible ways to live out gratitude. To take note of what they have, rather than what they don’t.


This December, we’ll be teaching the core value of love. To love yourself (check out this awesome video), others, and the game of soccer. While love is often viewed as kind words and actions, It can also be doing what’s hard, not fun, or sacrificial. All of our core values are rooted in love. It’s a massive word and is easily thrown around, but we hope to teach players ways to practically live it out in December.

"Passing it on" this Thanksgiving



passing it on

The past couple of weeks at practice, I've been asking groups of players how they show gratitude. It starts with the question, "What are you thankful for?" Once they give me an answer, I then ask them how they express/show gratitude. I ask, because thankfulness leads us to think and ponder, while gratitude is a state of being. Gratitude means living it. To be doers, not just sayers, is the goal of our core values.

When I brought in a group of 10 year old boys and asked what they're thankful for, one boy quickly shouted, "turkey!" I asked him how he shows gratitude and some other boys chimed in with, "eat all of it in your tummy, yummmm" or "put gravy on it!" Although I will do both of those this Thanksgiving, I wanted them to think a bit more.

Then I heard a quiet and hesitant answer from the side of the group, "Umm, you could give a turkey to someone else, too." The comment surprised me but this is exactly where I wanted them to go.

In that short, five second moment those 10 year olds sniffed out the difference between thankfulness and gratitude. Thankfulness is saying thank you for the turkey (or even putting turkey on it let’s be real), while gratitude is the action that 10 year old takes when he gives a turkey to someone else this Thanksgiving. Therefore, gratitude for the love of a friend, a god you may believe in, a turkey, or anything else, requires passing it on.

So this Thanksgiving, let's be prone to "pass it on" when it comes to turkey, love, and relationships so others can have something to be grateful for, too.

And if you're interested in giving a turkey to someone else, like my 10 year old blonde friend, here's a link to Mel Trotter Ministries, they're short of their turkey goal so far and YOU can "pass it on."

Stories inspire us. If you witness a story worth telling, e-mail

Ballin Integrity: #09Fever


ballin integrity

Sometimes crazy stuff happens in games. A couple of weeks ago, the '09 Fever faced a Midwest United team who had no substitutes. During the game, one of the Midwest players became ill and had to leave the game.

Without hesitation, a couple of players went up to coach Alex and suggested that they take a player off to make it an even game. They were all volunteering to go off. For the remainder of the game, the boys wanted to continue to play down a man. There was no hesitation of integrity for these '09 Fever boys, which is why they receive the "Ballin Character" Award (it's being held underneath Luke's legs in the middle of the picture.)

These boys cared more about fair play than an easy win. It would've been easy and justified for them to play with an extra man, but they did the right thing regardless. Thanks for being examples of character for all of us '09 Fever!

For the month of November, our core value is gratitude. It's easy to say we're thankful, but gratitude requires consistent action so we can know that in the end, we're blessed with a lot more than we think.

If you witness any #BeyondTheField stories worth telling, e-mail them to




If we were "gradying" him on "integrady", he'd get an A+. Grady has been playing on Coach Matt's '07 Drive team this season and found it difficult to cap and box his soccer bill during skill exercises in practice.

Despite the hardship, Grady has been determined to improve his technical skills. "The past three practices, I've caught him finishing every single rep even after everyone else finishes and we've moved on. He does it without complaining when no one is watching and puts in the hard work. I love it," said coach Matt.

Players like Grady encourage us that if you continue to do the right thing, whether someone's watching or not, you'll be a winner no matter what you do in life.  Thanks for living out our core value of October Grady!

If you've witnessed a story worth telling, e-mail