the day! Joseph Jonathan Baker,
age 5, from
still couldn’t believe he had been lucky enough to
win the big soccer sweepstakes. The grand prize had been tickets to watch
his favorite team, the
Spartans at the stadium.
Joey was especially excited because as the big
winner he was going to get to sit on the bench
with his big brother, Doug! Also,
Joey could take David and
Missy to the game , too.
Once inside the stadium, Joey, David and Missy
were ushered to the Neenah Spartans locker room.
“Joey, you’ve been such a big fan of ours that
we’d like to make you an honorary member of the
Spartans,” the coach said. “Here’s your very own uniform.”
The coach then turned to the players. “Okay everybody, let’s win this one
The team all cheered and ran out to the field.
Joey, David and Missy
hurried to their seats on
the bench. They didn’t want to miss the opening kick off.
As they sat down, the referee tossed the coin. The
Neenah Spartans won the coin toss, and decided that they would kick
The ball was kicked into play. The players dribbled the ball down the field.
“Go team!” yelled
Joeywatched excitedly as the ball went up and
down the field. His team kept making runs at
the goal but hadn’t been able to score yet. The opposing team was the
Menasha Tigers and they had already scored
Joeyheard a whistle. One of the
Neenah Spartans had been fouled by the other team and was lying on the
ground clutching his leg.
With all the excitement on the field, no one noticed that the ball was
zooming through the air right towards
What could he do? Thinking fast,
gave the ball a mighty kick. Up, up in the
air the ball went.
That was quite a kick.” The coach said to
“We have an injured player and the team needs a player to kick the free
kick. Have you ever kicked a free kick before,
“Sure! I love playing Soccer! I know I can score on the free kick for you,”
Joey could not believe
his good luck.
He was actually going to
get a chance to help the Neenah Spartans
His big brother Doug walked up and said, “Glad
you are going to try our free kick, Joey. We
know you can score.”
Joey lined up in front of the goal to kick the
The coach yelled, “I know you can do it,
Joey looked at the soccerball lying on the
field. With all of his might, he
kicked the ball straight at the goal.
The goalie from the Menasha Tigers jumped
towards the ball as it flew through the air. The soccerball sailed by the
goalie’s hands and into the net.
Now the score was tied, but Joey wanted the
Neenah Spartans to win.
Joey used all his soccer skills.
He dribbled the ball down the field.
He trapped the ball with the top of
his foot. He
even used his head to pass.
“Way to go Joey,” yelled the coach from the
sidelines. “That was a great header!”
Joey kept looking for the shot but hadn’t
scored another goal. There was less than a minute left in the game and
Joey was getting tired, but
he couldn’t disappoint
The ball came towards Joey but
he was far from the goal. Suddenly,
he saw an opening.
“Do I really have the shot?” wondered
There was only one way to find out. Joey used
all his strength and tried a long kick. The
crowd grew silent as the ball flashed through the air. The ball hit the edge
of the goal for just a second, then bounced into the net. Score!
had scored the winning goal! The Neenah Spartans
had won the game! The crowd
started chanting, “Joey, Joey!” The other
players hoisted Joey above their shoulders and
marched him around the field.
“This has been the best day of my life,”
said to David and Missy.
As the coach handed Joey the Most Valuable
Player trophy, he said, “Joey, you can play on
our team any day. You’re a real soccer superstar!”
~ ~ ~