Peter Newsom

Archive for December, 2009|Monthly archive page

Tennessee Olympic Development Team

In Olympic Development Program (ODP) on December 23, 2009 at 12:05 pm

On December 14th, I was selected to join the Tennessee Olympic Development Program (ODP) Soccer Team. I had always hoped to make the ODP team – and I’m proud to say that I achieved my goal by making it in the first year I was eligible. It’s a privilege for me to play among such great players and I am very proud to represent the State of Tennessee.

For those who aren’t familiar with ODP, I’ll borrow an explanation from the Tennessee State Soccer web site. In 1977, the Olympic Development Program was introduced to identify a pool of players, from which a National Olympic Team would be selected. The process begins at the state level, advancing regionally, and finally to the national level.

The objective of the program is to enhance the development of each player, guided by high-level licensed coaches and to give exposure to each player – to assist him/her in obtaining college scholarship opportunities.

On January 8th, I leave for North Carolina to begin a weekend of training. During these two days we’ll play against players from other state ODP teams. It should be a great learning experience – not to mention a lot of fun.

UPDATE: The trip to North Carolina was even better than I expected. The only two down sides:
1.) I got injured during the first game. An enormous guy stomped his big cleats onto the top of my foot (the trainer called it my metatarsal). I played with pain for the first day – but the next morning my foot was so swollen I couldn’t get my shoe back on. The trainers wrapped it and it took about a week for me to recover to the point where I could play – but I’m fine now.
2.) It was so cooooooold in Winston-Salem. The windchill was about 21 degrees, for the entire weekend. In fact, it was so cold my mom didn’t want to pull her hands out of her pockets to take a picture of me hobbling around the field. However, she did get a good shot of me downing a hefty slice of pizza from Marios Pizzeria, after the first day of training and games.

Post Game Meal: Don't Tell My Coaches

We also got a good shot of the Wake Forest campus, from the comfort of our warm car (see below).

A Wake Forest Campus Building - Near the Soccer Fields

THE LATEST: I just learned that I’ll be headed to San Antonio, Texas on February 20th for two more days of training and games. My dad said I needed to come up with some kind of fundraiser for my soccer addiction. He suggested I sell ads on my blog/web site – or stick some temporary sponsorship logos on my arms and legs, like one of the race cars for Nascar. I think he was joking about the logos on my body – but, hey, if anyone wants a banner ad – give me a call!


A Winning GMS Soccer Season

In GMS Soccer on December 20, 2009 at 6:09 pm

This year I started sixth grade at Grassland Middle School (GMS) and I made the GMS Junior Varsity (JV) Soccer team. The JV Team is made up of sixth graders and about eight seventh graders. We had great coaches, Head Coach Russ Keller and Assistant Coach Owen Grimenstein, who were very encouraging and they had all of us working like a veteran team within a matter of days.

I’m proud to say that we had a winning 5-1-1 season. Plus, I started in all of our games and scored in all but one of the games we won. The JV doesn’t have an end-of-the-year tournament – but I feel confident that if there had been one, we would have won it.

What made this experience really fun was to be on the same team with Brentwood Soccer Club players I normally play against – since I play for the Tennessee Futbol Club (TNFC). I now count many Brentwood players as great friends and teammates.

At the end of the season, Coach Keller chose me to play on the Varsity Team in the WMAA Championship Tournament. It was a real honor to be the only sixth grader selected. And best of all, we won!

We even had a Bowling Party on December 17th – to celebrate our successful season. I must admit that my bowling game wasn’t very impressive. Now, had they allowed me to kick the ball, I might have done much better!

Oh yeah, during the bowling party, Coach Keller and some of my teammates seemed to be impressed with my Michael Jackson moon walk. Those bowling shoes and wood floors really help. Give it a try!

Another WCSA Indoor Season on New Plastic Grass!

In Indoor Soccer on December 19, 2009 at 7:01 pm

Well, I wrapped up another season of WCSA Indoor Soccer. This fall I played for Coach Vysoky’s U14 team and we finished the regular season 9-2-1, the best record in our bracket.

I was the only new member on their team – as they’ve play together over several outdoor seasons. The WCSA only allows two travel soccer players to play on a recreational team – so it’s next to impossible to stay on the same team, season after season. In fact, I’ve never been on the same WCSA indoor team – over eight seasons of play. It doesn’t allow for much chemistry – but I believe I’ve probably played with most the kids my age, who play indoor soccer each year.

The only bummer for this season: we lost in the Championship game to a team we had played three times – and never lost to, all season. I guess it’s true that it’s hard to play any team four times and not lose at least once. I just wish we had gotten our loss out of the way earlier!

I started the season pretty strong, scoring seven goals in one of the first games – but two-thirds through the short season I fought a never-ending cold – not to mention a heavy travel and middle school practice and game schedule, simultaneously.

It was fun playing on Coach Vysoky’s team – especially since one of my best friends, Josh Vysoky, the Coach’s son, was on the team. Both of us played as Forwards and I had as much fun assisting on Josh’s goals, as I did making them. If was also great playing in the newly renovated indoor complex in Franklin. The artificial turf is new, the overhead lighting is brighter and the glass walls make it better for watching a game.

Futsal Season Begins on January 11th

In Futsal on December 19, 2009 at 6:26 pm

On January 11th I begin playing Futsal within the Cool Springs Athletic Association league – at the A-Game Sportsplex.

I’ve been learning the game and practicing – in advance of the season – on Friday nights, with 17 other players – who will soon be playing on several different teams within the new league. The eight-week clinic has been taught by Andy Stone – an amazing coach who was born and raised in London, England.

For those who aren’t familiar with the game, Futsal is played between two teams of five players, one of whom is the goalkeeper, and up to seven substitutes per team. Unlike indoor soccer, the game is played on a hard court surface – about the size of a basketball court. Walls or boards are not used. Futsal is played with a small weighted ball that has very little bounce. This game is all about ball control and passing in small spaces.

Here is the Futsal ball I just bought

Very few soccer players in the U.S. have ever had the opportunity to play Futsal. It hasn’t caught on, like it has in other parts of the world – but I believe that will soon change.

According to Wikipedia, the game was started in Uruguay, in 1930, as a version of soccer for competition in YMCA gyms. In Brazil, this version developed on the streets of Sao Paulo, and eventually a rulebook was established. The sport began to spread across South America – and now you’ll find it all over the world. The U.S. even has a national team. Go to to learn more about the game.

If you live in Middle Tennessee, and you are interested in playing in the Cool Springs Athletic Association Futsal League, drop by the A-Game Sportsplex or click on this link and it will take you to the Futsal section on their web site,