October soccer, October SUP, October acknowledgement of gratitude.

Living in this Covid-19 world I am grateful for every day I get outside to walk Crosby. I’m grateful every time I get to clip into my bike for a workout. I’m grateful every morning Crosby and I get the better half out for a nature walk. I’m lucky and grateful for every day I get to step on the pitch at age 45. I hung up my player cleats 2 years ago after realizing I didn’t have the explosive speed to keep up with 21 year olds and the gloves come out for training only since hitting the ground to make a save hurt for the next four days. I will continue to bust out my whistle or flags as a guardian of the game.

That being said, here’s a little stat update: over the last 30 days, I’ve clocked over 20 games. I managed to only hand out 5 yellow cards and NO red cards. I’ve had at least 10 verbal warnings with mask on and from over 10 feet away. Witnessed a 3 goal comeback in the last 10 minutes of a game, with the game winner being scored with 16 seconds left on the clock. Ten of the 25 plus games were one goal games. No games went to overtime. Four PK’s were called. Due to the new IFAB interpretation, I had 4 drop balls for the 4 times the ball has hit me and it impacted the flow of play. I’ve been able to work with two first year AR’s and actually made a YouTube pregame since I rarely do U-10 games. I had one night on the field named after Nate.

Miles tracked from games since the season kicked off:

Stadiums- KC, Kiski, Burrell, Deer Lakes, Mars, Butler(Soccer), Springdale(Soccer), Armstrong, Shaler(both), Ferraco Field, Freeport Athletic Field, Highlands, Harrison Hills County Park,

Due to all this soccer and calls to Kentucky, the golf clubs have been temporarily put away until after November 3.

I will be the first to admit that, I truly thought the idea of having a fall high school sports season was truly the definition of insanity considering the Covid-19 pandemic. I then learned that between the kids and coaches they were willing to basically lock down their lives to make this season happen. I appreciate the condensed season with the late start that let the schools get Covid-19 protocols in place. I understand that playing these games helps get the kids back to a new normal, even if their classes are either completely or partially on-line.
When week one started and I began using my electronic whistle, along with a mask anytime a question was asked I hoped that everybody accepted this new normal. I ran into a few old-timers that didn’t appreciate the adaptation, but I think they also don’t believe masks will help reduce the transmission of Covid-19.

I have marked all of the goals and cards using my Apple Watch, no need to reach in my pocket and pull out a pen without first using hand sanitizer. Instead of putting my whistle to my lips at least 25 times a game, I’ve modified and only use an electronic whistle. It is also the official whistle of the ACC during this pandemic.

I’ve also added the PA Covid alert app to my phone so I can be notified if I come in contact with anybody that tests positive. Add in my flu shot for the this upcoming, season and I’m trying to do my best.

Getting back on the field allows me to get back normal. Cardio with intervals on the pitch. Using my brain to read the game, flag an offside, blow a foul and apply the advantage. I now have that moment during player introductions when I get a chance to have that conversation in my head with my mother.

In going forward with soccer 2020, I’m not ready to commit to doing an indoor version of the game at this time. I think as far as my Covid-19 brain goes, doing big field, outdoor games is as good as I can do in this current environment. Even doing a youth game where the field is smaller and pack ball occurs, I’m still not comfortable working without a mask. 😷 The smaller, pack ball game generally forces me to slow down my speed to a walk and avoid the pack. It also helps that most of those games require very little sprinting.

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