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playing up

playing up

Summer rugby is upon us. And luckily, Saturday’s weather actually felt summery! It was beautiful. For summer ‘Sevens’, Cory and Colton are playing on different teams… which is new- they have always been on the same team. Colton is 18 months older than Cory, which has it’s advantages and it’s disadvantages.  The team that Eric has been coaching is the 7th and 8th grade team, and the youngest in the “ Fifteens” division of the Rugby stuff, so as a result, Cory has been playing up for the last year.  Cory is a hardworking and super passionate player.. he of course has been to every practice, and has improved a ton…but he isn’t a starter, and isn’t as big, and doesn’t get as much playing time.  this fact has never thwarted his determination or his passion for the game! He worked really hard, even at school, to improve his speed, and even finished the year with a 6:14 mile.  As this summer started, he was pretty bummed to be put on a 6th grade team. Not only separated from his teammates, but put in an environment with a lot of new kids- new to him, new to the game, but he also had a new coach (not dad).

First practice- he is asked to be the team captain, and kicker; a position he has practiced for, but never would play on the 7/8th grade team.  Saturday, Cory’s team played two games, and Cory scored 3 ‘trys’.  He was a fast and smart player.  In one of the games, Eric happened to be referee, and after Cory made a huge play, shaking off 2 guys that were holding him back and busting through to score, Eric overheard 2 of the opposing team players say ‘wow, that kid is fast!’.  Imagine the smile on Cory’s face.  

For a kid who is pretty constantly in the shadow of his big brother, this was an amazing opportunity.

 I wanted to explain to him how lucky he is that because of that older brother, he has been pushed and prodded… he has been challenged and mentored.  Yea, it might be in the form of teasing, ridicule, demoralization, and frustration…but rather than breaking Cory’s spirit, it’s made  him an awesome athlete, and leader. I also thought it was pretty cool to see Colton on the sidelines, cheering him on.  

I think that in general, it’s always good to surround yourself by people that push you, challenge you and expect a lot out of you.  it was just awesome to see.  it was even better for Cory to see what he could really do.


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