Soccer Mom in Training

I could write an entire blog just about learning how to be a soccer mom to nearly 30 grown men…but then I’d stop posting here and eventually would stop posting there as well. (Seems to be the constant in my blogging efforts…except for Teague FC!) In an effort to keep this both fresh and fun, I’ll share with you my latest ‘team mom’ escapades.

Jacksonville University (JU) had two exhibition games last week. I missed the first, opting for a running course instead (good: attending class. bad: not running since) and deciding to save my gas rather than rush up to the JU fields for the second half of the game that Garrett wasn’t even playing in. (Catch up note: Coaches put G on mandatory rest to start the season, as we try to get a diagnosis and treatment plan for his ab strain / stress reaction that has been bothering him all summer. Insurance delayed the process, as does once-a-week doctor availability. Hope to know more tomorrow.)

Fast forward to Friday — learned that I can leave my office in Ponte Vedra at 6:28pm and arrive at the JU soccer field literally right as the 7 pm kickoff happens. (Filing that one away for later in the season…) It was freshman orientation week, so I had to grab a seat in front of about 30 freshman or sophomore university students. Spent the entire game listening to them talk about “Justin Beiber. Taylor Swift. Parties. Quidditch. Movies. Parties. Sorority. Beach.” If 90 minutes of that was my own personal hell, I have much more sympathy for Garrett sitting through classes every day with these kids. Back to soccer: JU tied the exhibition 1-1. The team didn’t look nearly as good as I had hoped, playing a D2 school, but we went through this in the summer too (lost first four, won next eight), so I’ll be more optimistic. (Also, they beat South Florida 2-1 in the first exhibition match.)

Before I left the field, I snagged a homemade “Dolphins soccer” poster that one of the froshie sorority chicks had brought. She didn’t want to hang onto it, and I told her I was having team dinner the next night, so I might as well have team artwork too.

Saturday night was the first JU team dinner that I’ve let Garrett rope me into…and by “rope”, I mean I totally offered because who doesn’t love to cook for 12 hungry grown men in a 1,100 sq ft condo? The menu was fairly basic but the Costco shopping trip was anything but (Garrett sent me all alone, this was his mistake.)

  • Herb-crusted Sirloin tip roast (two x 3.5 pounds each)
  • Summer vegetable ratatouille (two pans)
  • Sweet potato fries (cheated and bought the big bag at Costco!)
  • Fusilloni pasta, lightly sauced, with fresh tomato & basil (big pot)
  • Costco rolls (one bag)
  • Apple pie and vanilla ice cream (Costco sized!)

The dinner was surprisingly easy to pull together, though our oven proved (again) that it doesn’t cook as quick as recipes suggest. I need to start remembering this! (Any tips on oven cleaning or optimizing for power/cook time?) Once the guys showed up, it wasn’t long before the chips and salsa were devoured and dinner was ready (buffet style). Helpful tip: The pack of 30 aluminum buffet pans for $3.50 are worth every penny. From cooking to serving to clean up, they were so easy!

JU Mens Soccer - Defense Team Dinner

After dinner, Garrett pulled out the cribbage boards and started to teach some of the guys how to play. Go figure, the married couple throws a college party and the craziest we can get is playing cards (and Playstation3). Team Europe (Toby from Germany & Henrik from Norway) took the first game (beginners luck!), but I was part of Team America that had two dramatic comeback wins to steal the honors of the night. Pretty sure that there is at least one cribbage board in the team locker room now…

Team dinner part one was a success, including one review “the best meal I’ve had since coming to the States.” (nice!) Part two, with the midfielders and forwards is tentatively planned for Labor Day weekend. 15 new guys…no sweat, right? If you have any menu suggestions that don’t include using an oven, please leave them in comments. I’m likely going to be doing this a few more times!

Soccer Mom in Training