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Triumph and Teamwork

UAM Futsal League Dominates MLK Campus Tournament
Sophomore, Dariel Mejia, preparing an elite pass (MLK Gymnasium, February 26th 2024).

February 26, 2024 marked an exhilarating day for UAM Futsal League as it showcased talent and unity in a heart racing tournament against other schools within the MLK Campus.

As the UAM juniors geared up for their highly anticipated match, a pregame interview with four of the juniors, had all exuding confidence and determination.

Tom Silva stated, “Me and my teammates all strive to win, I try my best to better my teammates to ensure we have a manageable and winnable game. So yeah, i believe that we’ll win the match ahead”.

Dylan Mahboubian said, “I mean I know we’re gonna win this. When it comes to soccer or really any kind of sport you have to be confident in winning”.

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Tyler Perez added, “I know my team will come out on top”.

John Padilla said, “My team will definitely be the most successful because of the way we play and the teamwork we are capable of”.

UAM Junior, John Padilla, is preparing to pass to his fellow teammate (MLK Gymnasium, February 26th 2024).

With the tone set, the tournament began and the junior team were first to play. They took the stage demonstrating their superior skills and cohesive teamwork, with a near impenetrable defense, strategic maneuvers and excellent passing. Juniors of UAM surely left an impacting impression on the audience. Although the opposing team did manage to score many goals with their equally impressive skill set, the UAM juniors ultimately managed to land a victory for our school.

The juniors of UAM and Maxine Green are contesting for control over the soccer ball (MLK Gymnasium, February 26th 2024).

Next up were the freshmen of the UAM Futsal League, eager to prove themselves on the court. The start of the match was rocky to say the least, teammates began to argue with each other briefly on the field which slightly disrupted their focus. Yet later on in the match, the freshman gained their second wind, displaying improved communication and offense to counter their opponents persistent defense. The UAM freshmen overcame their flaws and managed to gain a victory for our school.

After the freshman game, interviews were conducted with two different members of the UAM freshman futsal team, Bamfa Fofana and Dariel Mejia. The interview highlighted their thoughts on the match, the struggles during the match and what they believe they could’ve done better.

Sophomores, Kevin Ruiz and Bamfa Fofana, outmaneuvering Art and Tech players (MLK Gymnasium, February 26th 2024).

“The match started out rocky, but we soon started to gain momentum when we finally got in sync. I believe that in the future, if we could be more well coordinated, we could have easier matches with a chance of victory”, said Bamfa Fofana.

“Yeah, I felt a little nervous around the beginning because it felt like we were gonna lose, but later on in the match, we suddenly began to just click together. Even though we as a team hold ourselves to high standards, we could perform better as a whole team in the future”, remarked Dariel Mejia.

Sophomore, Manuel Mendez, passing to fellow sophomore (MLK Gymnasium, February 26th 2024).

The climax of the tournament arrived as a surprise, the UAM freshman and juniors faced off against each other. Both teams were hungry for success and eager to properly show off their talents. With what was already proven on the court, this match promised to be a fierce competition of skill and teamwork. In a display of sheer determination and teamwork, the UAM freshman rose to the occasion, surpassing the junior squad, which led to a thrilling spectacle for the audience.

Sophomores and Juniors of UAM are racing to the soccer ball (MLK Gymnasium, February 26th 2024).

The UAM futsal leagues performance in the MLK Campus tournament was a testament to not only ours school’s skill, resilience and unity as a team. Our school managed to properly represent our league by obtaining multiple hard-earned victories.

A few days after the tournament, in an interview with Joshua Sherron, UAM teacher and the Urban Assembly Futsal League Director and Founder, Sherron shared his thoughts on the games, but also his intentions with the futsal league.

“Incorporating social and emotional learning into sports like soccer goes beyond competition. It’s about fostering communities, growth, and expression. Soccer allows people who come from all over to connect. The universal appeal of soccer aligns with New York’s City’s diverse dynamics. The universal appeal is most certainly a helpful aspect of soccer as more and more migrants come to New York and they probably don’t even know English, which is especially difficult for migrant children. So, to be able to bond over something such as soccer, it allows us to become a more unified community.”

In the wake of the MLK Campus tournament, the UAM futsal team emerged as victors despite their struggles. Their performance showcased not only their talent on the court, but also their ability to quickly adapt and grow with each other as a team. They managed to embody the values of community, growth and expression, resonating with Mr. Sherron’s sentiments on the hidden power behind soccer.

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About the Contributor
Elias Ortiz
Elias Ortiz is a UAM High School sophomore who is focused on furthering his education. Elias loves to read and relax after a long day.
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