Well, I came out of retirement.

Readers of this column will remember that just a short month ago I tried my hand at bull riding for the second time at the Cowboy Cross. The bucket list bull ride ended up in a not unexpected buck off for me — and the pictures told a pretty somber story if my own recollection failed to do so — so I quickly announced my retirement after picking up my ego from the arena dirt.

Fans don’t worry, that retirement is set in stone. I happily un-retired from coaching KVJSA soccer. I coached for three years a handful of years ago, trying my best at wrangling 5-, 6- and 7-year old kids (including my own) to create some semblance of teamwork and success. It was a lot of fun, but I stepped away from the helm when I felt unconfident — some would venture to say incompetence — in my soccer knowledge.

As we’ve always done in our house, we signed up my 12-year old Adelyn for another season and made myself available to help coach if the league needed me. And soccer fans, let me explain where I thought I could help. Yes, I played for six or seven years myself (we’ll just say that was a few years ago), and enjoyed every bit of it, but my expertise lately has been high 5’s and yelling an incoherent, but positive message every 48 seconds or so. Well, the façade I built, painting me as an experienced coach, was soon uncovered as being fraudulent.

Enter Coach Miguel and Coach Mal. Let me tell you that was a big sigh of relief. Coach Miguel has moves on the soccer pitch you can find on ESPN or YouTube. Coach Mal has an extensive athletics and coaching background. Again, my expertise? Clapping from the sidelines.

But most importantly, let me tell you about my team. We have sisters, we’ve got BFFs, we’ve got lunchroom buddies from middle school, we’ve got kids who haven’t played much and another few who will star for Ellensburg High School in a few years. We had a few that said they would play anywhere and another handful that only wanted to focus on one position. Some had boundless energy, while others barely spoke, but all were always in the middle of a scrum trying to hold off an opponent.

First order of business: Team name of course. We needed something known and intimidating. We needed something that reflected our personality. We needed to look no further than Coach Mal’s T-shirt he wore on the first day of practice: Cobra Kai, from the Karate Kid. The name instantly stuck.

It’s amazing what the weather did for us these past weeks as these kids braved an entire year’s worth of elements in a two-month season. The schedule started right after Labor Day and I’m pretty sure our first game or two was in 80-plus degree weather. Let’s fast forward to a couple of weeks ago where our pre-game warmup was in 27-degree conditions with a heavy frost on the field for our 9 a.m. game.

And who could forget the “monsoon game” in which the sky looked like a scary movie flick: dark rolling clouds that quickly turned an overcast day into nighttime. Then the wind came, followed by those clouds dropping a fierce rain. Nothing like playing soccer in horizontal rain that’s literally pelting you right in the face.

Did they give up and quit? No way and I was proud of them. Did a few of them get sick for a few days afterward? Yep, and if I haven’t said it enough to my team’s parents, sorry about that. Send me the receipt for the doctor co-pay, I’m good for it.

But I was proud of my team. I really want to thank Addy, Bill, Byron, Chyanne, Colter, Harlow, Hudson, JJ, Kacee, Kaden, Mya, Safiyyah, Sam, Shale, Silas and Stirling. You won’t remember me or our record in a few years, but I hope you remember a good time. I certainly will.

Jon Guddat covers rodeo — from the kids to the kids at heart — with a weekly rodeo column in the Daily Record. Contact Jon with story ideas at jonguddat@yahoo.com.

Comments

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.