Will the dream about going to AASCA next year materialize?
As the sports in our school re-open, students’ excitement for AASCA is present once more. Since 2020 AASCA has not taken place and our student-athletes have been eagerly waiting for the moment the tournament resumes. Finally, it seems that in 2022 AASCA will again transpire. The enthusiasm is tangible, but is it really going to happen?
The last AASCA event was the soccer championship in which our school’s U18 boys won. Then the pandemic struck mid-march, causing AASCA volleyball to be canceled 20 days before it was supposed to take place. Since the pandemic is not really gone, how do we know it isn't going to happen again, that our dreams of playing in an AASCA tournament won’t be canceled again? The truth is that we have no way of knowing because these circumstances are ever-changing. Still, Ms. Milena Picasso, our school’s Athletic Director, confirms that AASCA will happen.
It’s been settled that from the 16th to the 20th of February the both the boys' and girls' soccer teams will be fiercely playing for the win in their home country, Nicaragua since the host will be LIA. Some games may be played at ANS, UAM, or even the National Stadium since they fit the necessary measurement for a soccer field. The preselection has been sent out, but a cut is to be made to establish the 20 in each team that will compete in the name of the school. The question is: How is the team looking?
It’s been two years since AASCA last took place and practices have been short and infrequent. The boys' soccer team, however, has come back determined to work hard and succeed. Even so, they felt that they weren’t training enough to actually win. For this reason, the captain of the boys’ soccer team, Andrés Mántica, had summoned his teammates to train outside of school, not knowing that AASCA was going to occur and that practices were going to be extended from Monday to Friday. Now that practices are back to normal (normal meaning intense), everyone is excited and training hard.
As stated before, these have been two sedentary years with no practices, games nor competitions for both our volleyball and soccer teams. But Ms. Milena is confident that as we begin the training for the AASCA tournaments our athletes will improve and will perform magnificently. She believes that if we all are discipled, persevering, and committed from here until the dates of our tournaments, we will achieve outstanding results. She knows that the boys' soccer team is talented and that if they continue to work hard and diligently they will be able to win AASCA once again.
This is Andres Mantica's older brother, Rodrigo, playing pre-pandemic against Alfonso Sandino. (Image credit)
Meanwhile, because their AASCA date is further away than the boys’, the volleyball practices are going to be from Wednesday to Friday starting this week. Their tournament will be from the 30th of March to the 3rd of April at the Country Day School in Costa Rica. Starting next semester, the girls will play with other schools or clubs to prepare for the upcoming tournament. In addition, the preselection was sent on November 15, meaning that 16 were chosen to practice, and from those, 12 will actually travel to Costa Rica to represent the school. The team does not have a captain yet, but Ariana Aguerri is the current co-captain. Furthermore, this year the girls' volleyball team counts with junior Francesca Medrano, who is part of the Selección Nacional, to play with them for AASCA.
Ariana Aguerri and the 2017 women's volleyball team claim third place in AASCA. From the girls in this picture, only Ariana remains in her last year of high school. (Credit: Ariana Aguerri)
I am proud to say I am part of this volleyball team and have been preselected to train with the team that will travel to Costa Rica. For this reason, the AASCA volleyball tournament hits closer to home. When I was in 7th grade I was going to go to my first AASCA in Costa Rica and was devastated when it got canceled a few days before the tournament took place. The news that AASCA will take place in 2022 has exhilarated me and my team.
With the latest AASCA news comes a rush of adrenaline that will likely hold on even after the tournament ends. These news have stirred school spirit and delighted all of the student-athletes. Even if there is a chance that the tournament will be cancelled at the last minute, we must, as Ms. Milena says, work diligently and endeavor to bring the trophy back home!