“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” – Mahatma Ghandi
The scores on Wednesday may have been more lopsided than the average soccer fan would hope, but there was no weakness to be found on the fields behind Central Junior High. After a league-threatening scuffle in Week 1, players from Central and Hurst Junior High Schools met with their coaches for a pre-match exploration of sportsmanship. They cleared the air, shook hands and brushed off the dust of a few bad decisions. Then they went on to win.
With the exception of Spartans FC, who were matched up with league-leaders FC Hurst, every team involved in that meeting came away victorious in Week 2 play. Atlético, perhaps the side most deeply damaged by the roster trimming that followed the fight, rebounded with a double-digit victory over a weaker Euless side. Raiders FC, the other club affected, took advantage of their own matchup with Euless to pad their Goal Differential and keep pace with their counterparts in white.
FC Hurst 4 – 1 Spartans FC
Real Euless 0 – 10 Atlético FC Central
Stallions FC 0 – 7 Raiders FC
It's easy to look at those numbers and think that the young men of Liga HEB are sharply divided. True, there are some young players struggling to find chemistry and confidence; some truly gifted players leaving others in the dust. But there are no losers in this league. Even on the wrong end of a blowout, these young men have an opportunity afforded to them that few would expect. They've been given a place to belong, to learn and grow and forgive. And they've taken ownership of it.
Despite the tough scores that came in Week 2, there was nothing but healthy respect between players who had taken advantage of the chance to clear the air. Even players who had contemplated giving up when their team faced disciplinary action came back to resounding victory on the field and ongoing success away from the pitch. This is a league where young men are forged, and thus far, each is responding to the fire with strength and resilience. This week, they proved that they were strong enough to forgive.
Looking Ahead: Week 3 presents both Euless squads with a tough test against top teams, but the featured match will be Raiders FC and Spartans FC. The Central side needs a win to climb back into the title hunt, while a statement game from the red-clad boys of Hurst could land them the coveted top spot in the Liga power rankings as their peers in White go up against a less-impressive Real Euless.