This is a picture of the last soccer team that I was privileged to coach. It was a Co-Ed mix of 5th-8th
graders, during the fall of 2002. We are pictured here with the trophy, held by our keeper, Kevin
Bean. Most of the names of the players have escaped me, but what I remember is that God had a
hand in our endeavors. During the season, we had finished in 3rd place and were slated to play
the Huntsville team in the district tournament. We had beaten the Huntsville team twice during the
season and the Huntsville coach vowed to beat us in the district tournament. The tournament
began with a rain which kept us in our van for over an hour before the rains ceased and play
began. We tweaked our lineup a little, putting our smallest player (and a lower classmate) at center
defender. He did an awesome job of defending, along with the entire team. At the end of regulation,
we were tied and had to go into a shootout. According to the rules the coach picks 5 players to
take penalty kicks after a tie. One of my picks was Heather Lee, who protested to me, “Coach, I’m
not that good!!” Heather, you are going make this, “I told her!” (I believe the hand of God was with
us) She made the winning goal on a great penalty kick and we advanced to the semi -finals. There
was lots of water on the field (provided by God) and the team we played had beaten us twice
during the season. Grace School had no grace as far as we were concerned and since they had
beaten us twice they were over confident, bragging they would do it again. God provided the water,
which slowed them down and we played outstanding. Toward the end of the game, with us ahead,
our best player, Chase McGarity (also my back up keeper) made a critical error. He used his hands
to stop a goal and received a red card. This meant that he was out of the game and we had to play
with 10 and he could not play in the next game. We held on to the lead and beat Grace by the
“Grace” of God. Our next game was for the championship which was played the following week
against Chinquapin School. We went to their school, knowing that it would be a difficult game.
Considering that our best player would be on the side line helping coach and could not play, made
it even more difficult. As we warmed up, all of a sudden Kevin Bean (pictured with his brace,
holding the 2nd place trophy) came up with an injury and could not compete. Now keep in mind our
backup keeper was out of the game and we had not prepared a 3rd keeper. Needless to say, we
were soundly defeated; but the season is one that I will always remember, especially the magical
finish in the district tournament. Of all the games that I have coached, these were some of the most
satisfying.  Thank you Sweetwater Christian players for a great finish and thank you God for being
with us.

                                                  THANK YOU GOD!!
A Salute to the Sweetwater Christian Lower Grades soccer team fall of 2002