School and club rivalries were set aside temporarily by a group of 10 boys who came together as a Cayman Select Under-11 team to challenge a variety of clubs in North Carolina in early July.
The boys had all played together in some form in the past, a press release states, representing St. Ignatius Catholic School, Cayman International School and Cayman Prep in the Primary Football League, and both Sunset FC and Academy FC in the Cayman Islands Football Association U-11 league. After training together for only a few weeks under the guidance of volunteer coach Peter Reijn, they showed some excellent teamwork and very high quality football to take their American opposition somewhat by surprise across a variety of surfaces and game formats, the press release states.
Unbeaten after exciting games against the Winston-Salem Twins, Greensboro United and Piedmont Triad, all in the Winston-Salem area, and having enjoyed a highly competitive indoor Futsal tournament teaming up with many of the opposition players from those games, the team moved to Charlotte to take on the Charlotte Soccer Academy – reputed to be one of the top clubs in North Carolina – in its final game.
“The boys emerged victorious after a hard-fought, thrilling and high-scoring game to finish the tour on an unbeaten high note,” the release states.
In addition to their successes on the football field, the trip was memorable as a multigenerational experience, the press release notes, with a large contingent of parents, grandparents, siblings and extended family cheering the boys on, and families participating in a wide range of other activities, including watching the local minor league baseball team and enjoying the indoor water park at Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, North Carolina.