The first weekend of NPL games has finally been played. Our teams went 6-7-0 against AFC Lightning. Not bad for the first chance to see how we really stack up. Lightning are a long-standing program that have played in the Boys Development Academy until this year. They have several National Championships under their belt. Our boy’s teams went 4-3.
One of the biggest challenges has been the continuing COVID pandemic. Having players and coaches miss practice or games due to health concerns is only part of the issue. The entire NPL schedule was delayed by almost a month as the league adjusted to travel restrictions and travel requirements that are different in every state. Condensing the schedule into 4 months instead of 5 means that many of our teams will have a few awkward weekends. We will need to play some games at home on a Saturday and then travel that same day for a Sunday game across the country.
Obviously, this is not what anyone had planned on, but this is what COVID is forcing us to do. The flexibility of our families will be tested by these changes and I am sure other changes to come.
Just a few months ago, we had our tryouts delayed (twice). There was great doubt as to whether or not the season could be played. Now, we are underway with games that count! We are winning (and losing) but we are playing.
I hope everyone is as grateful as I am that we are able to play the game we love. We will compete as hard as we can every day. We will continue to improve and reach for our goals. We will have some setbacks, some delays, and who knows what else. Not even this pandemic can stop us from reaching for the stars. I can’t wait for the next round of games.