[ TC ] V is for Victory

With less than a week away from the start of the World Cup, everyone’s buzzing at the Blue Ion offices. After all 33.3333% (repeating, of course) of our current workforce are active footballers, along with one retired footballer, and yet another straight from the land of the beautiful game.[1]

Meanwhile, having moved into our new offices, and configured our HD projector to watch on the big screen, nary a minute of the competition will be missed. More on scheduled events regarding this later.

But, on a smaller scale, the Blue Ion Football Club (BIFC), competed in the Lowcountry Soccer Festival during last weekend’s Memorial Day. This is a huge tournament that happens every year in Charleston, involving over 50 teams: men, women, and co-ed, as well as many skill levels and age groups.

Warming up for Game 2
Warming up for Game 2

You see, yours truly has served as Player/Manager of the Blue Ion squad for the last 4-5 years; playing in the Men’s Premier Division (18 and up) in both the Spring and Fall seasons[2]. This Memorial Day Tournament required us to piece together available players from a couple of our rival squads, and manufacturing our own “Dream Team.”

Games were a reduced 70 minutes due to having to play between 3-5 games in the searing heat, and in a compacted weekend schedule. BIFC competed in the Men’s Open division… the upper echelon of competition. Fixtures/Results below…

Day 1 – Saturday:
10am vs. Dasani (Atlanta, GA)
4-0 W for BIFC

2:30pm vs. Sting Gold (Atlanta, GA)
3-2 W for BIFC

Day 2 – Sunday:
10am vs. Wizards (Asheville, NC – NC State Champs)
2-1 W for BIFC

4pm (Semi-Finals) vs. Sin Bandera (Charleston’s Premier Latino team)
2-1 W for BIFC

Day 3 – Monday:
12pm (FINALS) vs. Wizards

Tape protects against nipple chaffing. And business deals get done.
Tape protects against nipple chaffing. And business deals get done.

In a rematch of our earlier victory against the NC State Champs, the Finals were a hard fought match. Matias Rojas for BIFC got the scoring started in the 30th minute with a ridiculous shot from 30 yards out. However, shortly after that (before half) we yielded a goal to the Wizards.

In the 38th minute, Matias outpaced a defender and beat the goalie to a ball just inside the 18 yard box, and narrowly chipped a shot over him, putting us back in the lead 2-1.

At the 53rd minute, Patrick Baxter of BIFC managed to turn on a defender in the opposing team’s box, and was fouled just as he was getting the shot off and past the keeper. Needless to say, a Penalty shot was awarded to us, and we had Sage Martina (our free kick specialist) bury the shot to put us up 3-1.

Despite a comfortable 2 goal lead, we yielded one more goal to the Wizards, and had to fight to defend the lead for the final 15 minutes.

In the end, BIFC went undefeated throughout the tournament, and brought home it’s first major title. The trophy is showcased in our awards showcase at the office. Matias Rojas received MVP of the Finals due to his 2 goal effort, and unofficially the MVP of the tournament was given to Sage Martina for scoring a goal (or more) in every game.

For Theodore, who has played since age 5, including stints in Sweden and Denmark, High School and College, winning many memorable games[3] and tournaments back in the “olden” days, this winning weekend was especially memorable and enjoyable.

Exhaustion and pain never felt so good.

The Winning Blue Ion Football Club
The Winning Blue Ion Football Club. Bottom Row (from left): Jabari Seabrook, Chris Hall, Jason Dowiak, Patrick Baxter, Sage Martina, Johnnie Keene, Randy Owen, Justin Linnemann. Top Row: Matias Rojas, Lee Ballenger, Tyler Beckstead, Derek Workman, Scott Milroth, Gus Teren, Theodore! Not Pictured: Haskins Howerton, Chad Kite


[1] Active players: Theodore, Chris, Casey; Retired player: Craig; Default Fan: Nicola (due to being from England)

[2] Yes, I am (barely) able to still hang with players over 10 years younger.

[3] One of the most memorable, playing the Italian National Team Under 16 when I was in high school. They were meant to easily beat our “feeble” U.S. squad. But we beat them 1-0, and witnessed their players sobbing after the game, and one kid stripping down to his tighty whiteys so as to no longer don the Italian kit.