MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Sports

July 8, 2013

Porter soccer players get chance to represent USA

Four five soccer players from Porter, their chance to represent the United States in international competition is fast approaching.

Kennedy Mathis, Carlee Boyd, Brianna Henson, Kalli Jones and Ariana Riley will be members of the SuperClubs National under-16 girls team that travels to England at the end of this month.

“Being with the U.S. and all the team from the U.S.,” Mathis said. “I’m so excited to see the competition and how they do stuff over there.”

Pat Ozburn, director of international tours for SoccerClubs National, said the experience is more than just playing soccer.

“They will also have learned life-lessons they will carry with them forever,” he said. “Our teams will be playing Blackburn Rovers, Hull City, Crystal Palace, Wigan Athletic, and Tottenham Hotspurs. Our teams also have the unique opportunity to train with the coaching staff from Bolton Wanderers.”

All five girls play on the Second Wave club team. Tom Beene, coach of Second Wave, will serve as a chaperone and said everyone is thrilled.

“For the girls, it the opportunity of a lifetime,” Beene said. “They’re going to get a lot of training. If it is what they tell me it is, they’re going to go through some clinics with professional coaches in England.”

How SuperClubs contacted Beene is still a mystery to him.

“One of their guys contacted me,” Beene said. “He asked if we had any above and beyond players. I gave him contact information on one of the players and he called me back a couple of weeks later. I gave him our roster and he started asking questions like tournaments we had played in.”

Besides seeing a different part of the world, Mathis, Second Wave’s team captain, knows this is a chance to meet players from a different part of the country.

“I think we play four games over there,” Mathis said. “And we play different teams. We also have training once we’re in Chester and in London.”

For Beene, it’s an opportunity to learn techniques that he can apply to his team in Porter.

“I actually coached my daughters here in Porter in club ball,” Beene said. “That’s one of the reasons they have high school soccer now at Porter. Now I’m doing it again, hence the name Second Wave.”

For Mathis, the July 31 departure date is getting nearer and she is coming to grips with the honor.

“I kind of thought it was a joke at first,” said Mathis, captain of Second Wave. “But once it started settling in, it was pretty exciting. They’ve all flown before, but I haven’t.”

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