On December 6th, 60 Take the Lead Team Captains came together from across Chicago for the annual Captains’ Classic at Chicago Indoor Sports. Take the Lead Team Captains act as leaders for their Work to Play teams who are made up of 1st to 4th graders. Not only is the Captains’ Classic is an opportunity for the 5th to 8th grade Team Captains to play their hardest against their peers, but it’s also a time for them to bond with their coaches.
Everyone’s favorite part of the event was the full field Coach vs. Team Captain game that was played at the conclusion of the tournament. Nine UI staff members played against nine Team Captains. Despite an own goal by the UI staff, they came away with a W. This was in part thanks to new dad, Brendan McAlpine’s endline to endline breakaway that resulted in a goal for the staff, showing UI staff and the Team Captains that he still has game.
For Coach Eugene, one of TTL’s Managers, the highlight of the Classic was talking to the father of Kahari, a Team Captain at Reavis. At the last TTL Retreat, Kahari won a $50 gift card for being an outstanding Team Captain. At the Classic, Eugene asked Kahari what he bought with the $50 he won. Kahari, responded with a smile and said, “I gave it to my dad,” who was sitting next to Kahari beaming with pride. It’s moments like these between coaches, Team Captains and families that illustrates UI’s success of empowering Chicago’s youth to strengthen the social fabric of Chicago’s community.