Thursday, June 17, 2010

Now I Get A Kick Out Of It

I am not a big fan of soccer or the World Cup for that matter, but I enjoy sports. That means at some point over the course of the World Cup I’ll watch a game or two, especially when it gets down to the semifinals and finals.

Years ago soccer was like the vegetable I didn’t like for no reason. As a kid I didn’t like squash because I just didn’t like it. Mind you I hadn’t tasted it, but I still didn’t like it. Well, one day I was eating at a restaurant and I ordered a side dish of fresh vegetables. I finally tried the squash and I liked it.

It was the same way with soccer. I played it a bit during my P.E. class in junior high school, but it never grew on me, and I most certainly never watched it on television. When my daughter was attending Chamblee High School, she had some friends who played on the varsity team, so I went to a few games with her and I enjoyed watching it live and in person. The same thing was true when I started covering Catholic high school sports for The Georgia Bulletin back in 2007. Once I started photographing and reporting on soccer, it gave me a new appreciation for the game. One of the most exciting soccer games I covered was the 2008 game between the girls of Marist and St. Pius X. It went down to the wire. I’ve also covered some intense games between St. Pius and Woodward Academy.

Earlier this week the World Cup came closer to home when I met and photographed Our Lady of Mercy High School junior soccer player Katelyn Longino. The 16-year-old defensive midfielder also plays soccer for a club team called the AFC Lightning in Fayetteville and she’s involved with an organization called Soccer in the Streets. Longino is one of six Soccer in the Street delegates from Georgia heading off to the World Cup in South Africa on June 26. In addition to participating in a 32-country soccer tournament of five on five, the group will attend some World Cup matches. For more information about Longino and her South African sojourn, see Andrew Nelson’s upcoming article on Longino in the June 24 issue of The Georgia Bulletin.

Michael Alexander, Staff Photographer

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed reading your post, especially the part on the "vegetable I didn't like for no reason" :-)

    The World Cup is definitely going to get more exciting, much earlier than the semifinals and finals though. Some of the match-ups will be very good on Day 3 of the group stage since some teams will have to do their best to qualify for the next round.

    I am sure you will enjoy watching some of these games. For instance, Brazil-Portugal will probably be a nice game. I hope you will very soon join the ongoing worldwide excitement :-)

    I hope you will be blogging regularly. It is really nice to hear the stories behind the great pictures you take !

    Happy Father's Day (in Central Time) Mr. Alexander !

    -- Illenin