“Kindergartner plays on Broken Foot in Soccer League Championship”
What? I can’t believe a parent would allow a 6-year old boy to do this. Gosh, parents these days, it’s all about winning. Incredible. When is this going to stop? These parents just don’t get it. It’s this sort of “win at all cost” attitude that is damaging our children.
Did a part of you start to judge the parents of this kiddo?
Leave the gavel and smock at home. Here’s the whole story Your Honor.
Derrick Pryor plays on my son’s soccer team. Derrick Pryor has no stop button. He doesn’t even have a pause button. Trust me, I know this. I coach this soccer team (and the boy’s baseball team), and Derrick Pryor is the kid that you’re going to be watching on ESPN’s College Football Game Day Special one Saturday morning in the year 2026 playing the other football.
Derrick loves to play sports, any sport, soccer, baseball, football, wrestling, he’ll race you right now, right here if you’re ready…and…he’ll win. He can fly. When I watch a football game and I wonder how in the world these football players all run a “4.4, 40yard dash,” I now know how they started. They all began like Derrick Pryor, but I’m thinking not everyone has a Monday like the one Derrick experienced a few months ago.
I’ve wanted to write about this for some time now, but needed to get his parent’s okay. Permission granted.
Derrick’s Monday started like any other kid’s. He went to school, learned some math, spelling and reading, then out to the playground for recess. He’s playing tag with a few of his friends when he twists his ankle, badly, and goes down to the ground. Teacher checks on him, accompanies him to the nurse, who puts him through the line of tests and questions and thinks he’s okay because, well, Derrick told the nurse he was okay, and passed every test. The Nurse, though, puts a note in Derrick’s book bag to give to his Dad, so that his Dad is aware Derrick got hurt at recess. Derrick completes his day bouncing around the school like he’s hopped up on Pixy Stix. Kid is full of energy. What kid isn’t!?!
He goes home. Dad helps him with his homework. Derrick eats his dinner, dresses in his soccer uniform, and is ready to play. See, tonight is the night that his team, the Crusaders, can clinch the U6 League Title. Big Game. Huge Game. Monster Game. I’m kidding, of course. Well, you know, it is a big game to these kids. They know that if they win, they get a league trophy, and well, trophies are cool when you’re six. Good for them for caring.
Derrick, also, knows that if he shows his dad the note from the Nurse that his Dad won’t let him play. There are parents out there with perspective, contrary to what many folks think. Most parents do get it. I’m a parent, and I side with parents (most of the time…I acknowledge there are some that are Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs). So, Derrick bounces into the car, and off to the game they go.
Derrick does his normal thing, out runs every kid on the field, plays a phenomenal first half, then his Dad comes over to the bench. “Jeff, does Derrick look like he’s limping to you?” I really couldn’t tell. The kid is so darn quick. He moves too fast for me to see him. He’s like a pinball bouncing all over the field. But, hey, parents know their kids, so I pull D-Man off the field. “Derrick, are you okay, does your foot hurt?” “Nope, Can I go back in now?” responds the future Running Back for the University of Alabama (Dad is a big Tide fan). I look at his Pop, “He’s your kiddo, you tell me, I’ll keep him out obviously, no biggie.” His Dad looks at his little guy who stares back at him with that “Come on Dad, let me play look.” The look that most future All-Americans give as if to say “don’t even think about it Dad.” Dad shrugs the shoulders and tells him to be careful, but okay.
Well, Derrick, of course proceeds to net a couple of goals, the Crusaders win and the kids are proud of their accomplishment. Pryor (I feel like I should call him by his last name since that’s the way writers refer to professional athletes) admits to his Dad later that night that his foot is hurting him. It’s hurting so much that he has trouble sleeping, so Dad takes him to see the doctor the next morning, which sends for an X-Ray, and well, crack, it’s broken. Derrick is now in a walking boot for the next 3-4 weeks. His Dad asks him why he didn’t tell him it was hurting the day before. The Kindergartner responds with “Dad, if I would have told you I was hurt, you wouldn’t have let me play soccer, right?” His dad nods in agreement. “Well, I had to play, the team needed me,” says the future captain of some professional sports team.
So, note to the Coach of the University of Alabama Football Team Nick Saban, we have a recruit for you up here in St Louis. Name is Derrick Pryor. He’ll be playing Running Back or Defensive Back for you in about 13 years. And, note to parents, don’t judge each other every time you see a Media headline that implores you to judge. Read the story first. Make your own opinion. Court is adjourned.
Fan of Derrick Pryor