Final update on the 2016 European Stars 'n Stripes Soccer Tour.
First of all, thanks to all for following the blog and supporting us throughout this trip. Its been another wonderful experience and this is my 29th year of operating Stars 'n Stripes. Can you believe it, 29 years of taking soccer players to Europe and Australia.
Hard to believe and this group was another exceptional group of kids. The quality of our players leads to the quality of our tour and this year simply confirmed that. Yes we did sit-ups, lots of them, some push ups, some Burger King workouts, etc, but all in all a great tour. Soccer is only a small portion of Stars 'n Stripes and although we were very successful on the field, our off the field lessons and experiences might leave the most impact.
So many memories that the kids will simply forget only to have them surface again at the most impromptu time. Gonna fun to relive them all when the Video comes out and the pictures are all shared.
We did have some awards on tour as follows:
Player of Prague
Boys A - Jackson Padilla
Boys B - Jackson Rogers
Player of Copenhagen
Boys A - Cannon Braggs
Boys B - Zach (Peaches) Hopkins
Player of Gothia Cup
Boys A - Cory Wright
Boys B - Jarren Kreska
Player of the Tour
Boys A - Luciano Brignone
Boys B - Gabe Carballo
Golden Boot - highest goal scorer on tour - Jackson Padilla, 2nd - Jackson Rogers
Matt Pitcock - Hardest Worker Award - Chris Fischer
Eddie Pitock - Most Unique Player - Gavin Elliott
John Koutopis Award - Ambassador of SnS -
Boys A - Isaiah Perez
Boys B - Christian Munoz
As I write this final chapter so many memories flash in front of me. Some of these mean nothing to some of you while some of these will bring a chorus of laughter to the kids;
Nutmeg game in Copenhagen, Safety, BK Crew, Unique, count off, give me 50, no gaps, Ed Pace, Nicky, Bernd, Barry, where is your passport, no cell phones, clean up crew, where is your jersey, Max burgers, opening ceremony, game day captain, whose trash is this, I need 3 hours to get ready, Molly be golly, Adam, Anders, Terrezin, only number 1 on the bus, etc.
One of the strongest lessons learned this tour was the ability to do without the cell phones as the kids even commented on how great it was.
Hopefully, we can put it away at times and not let it dictate our lives so much, starting with me!!!
Watching these kids mature, be responsible, be polite, be respectful, learn some new phrases, welcome new people into our family, accept each other, etc, its been a fabulous experience and one that I will continue to cherish. I love Stars 'n Stripes and what it provides and what is stands for. I for one am exhausted which is a good sign of a good tour. Thanks to all of my players and to Eddie and Matt for assisting with this great experience. Together, all staff and players made it memorable and for that I am truly blessed.