On Thursday September 11th, 2014 at 12pm, 30 players and three vans, overflowing with bags from the SRJC Mens Soccer team, embarked on the long four hour journey to beautiful Lake Tahoe. After a short break at Safeway, where certain players decided to purchase a full three course meal, we finally arrived in Tahoe and the weekend could begin.
As the vans pulled up to our two cabins, the excitement grew. The vans were unloaded and the players rushed to claim the best bedrooms and change quickly for a light training session down on the picturesque Lake Tahoe Community College field. We were prepared for our big match against Fresno City College the following day. Once practice was complete, the team hopped back in the vans, stomachs rumbling, and headed to the team "all you can eat" pasta feed at a local Italian cuisine; a big thanks to Dave our generous host. The team began enjoying their pasta dinner, while Coach Kinahan shared a intimate meal with a certain member of the team. We all came together and wished our captain a happy birthday, which I'm sure he was pleased about! Once our stomachs were full we all headed back to our cabins to rest and get ready for our big game.
Dawn broke and it was game day. After a brief morning team walk around the local neighborhood, the vans were loaded and we set off for the field. At 1pm the referee blew the whistle and the game was underway. After a cagey and tight game, the score ended in a 0-0 draw, which was considered a good result due to the high status of both teams. Once the game was over, we all got back in the vans for the short drive to the local Safeway were we all bought lunch before heading back to the cabins to change. Next, we all headed back to the field to watch LTCC vs. West Valley, which was both an entertaining and competitive match. This game gave us valuable insight into teams we may compete against later on in the season. This wasn't the main "duel" of the afternoon, however. It was of course the epic 5-yard race between Coach Kinahan and the self proclaimed fastest player in Northern California, Dontae Garcia.Coach Kinahan prevailed with a win! The now second fastest in California Donate, took the result admirably as deep down he knew the best man won on the day.
After the game, we all headed down to the beach at the lake where we all swam and played a beach football game, before the world's shortest sumo wrestle match between Billy Stevens and David Mwinga entertained us. After the lake our sandy, wet feet made their way back to the cabins. Once back, we all showered and relaxed before we began to get to know each other better, which was of course the main goal of our trip. We all enjoyed a delicious Mexican meal cooked by four of the team members parents, which we all were entirely grateful for. Once we had all eaten, we met downstairs in a lounge area of one cabin and all sat together and watched a motivational documentary on USMNT and Watford FC Football star Jay DeMerrit on his rise to the pinnacle of professional football. In both cabins they had a snooker table and a foosball table, which were used intensively, as part of this, one member of the team made an ego driven bet, which he lost, and was given a questionable forfeit.
As the sun rose on Saturday morning, both cabins woke, and one cabin emptied and cleaned their quarters and we merged cabins for the last night; which was bound to bring us a lot closer! As the morning went on we got back in the vans and headed out to Lake Angora for the day. Here the team embarked in cliff jumping, paddle boats, row boats and swimming. The teams bravery was definitely put to the test when jumping from the 30 foot cliff into the cold clear Angora lake, evidently some people took longer to jump than others (Gui). All in all it was an extremely enjoyable day on the lake. After the lake we headed over to John's house, a generous friend of the Coach, in the luxurious Tahoe Keys neighborhood and the house next door happened to be the San Jose Sharks Ice Hockey team on a similar purposed trip that we were on. At the house we enjoyed a delicious BBQ beside the beach and enjoyed the hot tub, the lake once again, and a variety of beach sports. We also experimented to see how high we could toss small Billy in the air before we all headed back to our cabin. At the cabin we enjoyed getting to know everybody on the team through a variety of games. We found out some very interesting things about every single member of the squad, including the coach!
On Sunday morning we packed up the vans and departed our beautiful Lake Tahoe cabin and headed back to Santa Rosa. The vans arrived back around 1pm carrying a tired but happy squad as they all knew they had just experienced a wonderful, enjoyable and hugely beneficial weekend.
The whole team would like to thank everybody involved for making this a brilliant trip, especially the kind people who showed us hospitality in Tahoe, but in particular Coach Kinahan who made all this happen. It was an incredible trip and one that nobody will ever forget.
Don't wish for it, work for it.