Soccer Sandlot

  This summer was a big one for soccer fans with the European 2012 Championship captivating audiences from around the world.  Two Seaholm soccer fans took their game to the next level.

   Seniors Max Gomez and Kieran O’Keefe decided that watching the games wasn’t enough for them.  They established Seaholm’s first and only pick up soccer league, known as the Seaholm Soccer Federation (SSF). The rules were that teams could only consist of Seaholm students and alumni and no team was allowed more than two varsity-playing soccer players. 

   “It started out as a group of guys from the swim team getting together to play soccer and we then started inviting more people it became the SSF,” Gomez said.

   Teams included creative names such as the Freedom Footers F.C., “Birmenham” Hotspurs, Real Birmingham, Alumni All-stars, Birmingham-Chester United, and the original team Sacks Fifth Avenue.

   “The name Sacks Fifth Avenue was just suggested by one of our teammates, and it just stuck,” O’Keefe said.

   The SSF Facebook group description summarized the league well.

   “The Seaholm Soccer Federation (S.S.F) is comprised of the several legitimate illegitimate teams that are made from Seaholm students and Seaholm alumni.”

   Games were a frequent occurrence for about a month and although most participants were not serious soccer players, this did not stop teams from being competitive.  They were playing for more than just fun, they were playing for bragging rights.

   “The games and the competition were intense for a while,” O’Keefe said.  “At its peak, the league had about 100 members.  But after the first two or three weeks the league started to fade and we lost participation.”

   Perhaps the soccer hype ended after Euro 2012, or maybe the novelty of the league was lost, but the SSF games stopped being played.  The Seaholm Soccer Federation became a fun distraction for many soccer fans for the first half of the summer but failed to withstand in the long run.

   “People started getting busy with their fall sports and it became harder to get pick-up games together,” Gomez said.  “Starting the SSF is definitely something that I’m proud of.”

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