Competition runs high for micro-soccer playoffs
By Sgt. Joshua Bozeman
| | June 19, 2003
MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. -- Beads of sweat poured off several Marines' foreheads as they darted to and fro in the hot Georgia sun.
Despite the intense heat, Marines dashed about June 12 on two micro-soccer fields near Covella Pond. The level of competition was high as they played one of the last games of the season before the playoffs.
According to Frank Churchill, who started the league, everything is going according to schedule. Currently seven teams of three to five players each are battling for the top spot in the league.
Churchill created the league to give Marines an opportunity to exercise and build camaraderie during the lunch hour.
Regardless of rank or experience, Marines were encouraged to have a good time, while working to increase their physical strength, Churchill said.
Dan Hillary of the Provost Marshal's Enforcers never played soccer before he entered the league earlier this year. Despite his inexperience, he has had a lot of fun learned a great deal.
"It's a great way to stay in shape and have a good time with a group of Marines," Hillary said.
He has learned a lot about the sport and has a greater appreciation for the skill required to play well.
Heat or no heat on June 12, everyone's mind was on the games.
"Everyone tries really hard when they are on the field," said Hillary. "Even though the sun was out, no one wanted to back down from the competition."
Marcel Chesson of Team 7 agreed that the league was a great opportunity for Marines. Chesson played soccer in high school and while he was stationed in Hawaii.
"This league is very competitive and is a lot of fun to play in," said Chesson.
According to Churchill, the regular season will end before the Independence Day celebration here; then the playoffs will determine the number one team.
"There is not one team that has completely distanced themselves from the rest of the league by going undefeated," said Churchill. "Most games are decided by one or two goals, which will make it more interesting for the playoffs."