Because the entrants were so worthy and their essays so appealing, the Dynamos Select Committee this year awarded seven scholarships, as follows:
Two awards of $1,000--Maddie Saucedo and Colette LaCour
Two awards of $500--Brooke VandeMotter and Ernesto Sandoval
Three awards of $250--Alyssa Cisneros, Bailey Peschel, and Oli Delaune.
Congratulations to all for outstanding careers in our program. We wish you all the best in the future and know you will always be part of the Dynamos family.
The Coaches Memo is publishing a selection of essays; this week’s by Brooke VandeMotter.

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Brooke Vandemotter, winner of a Dynamos scholarship

By Brooke Vandemotter
Kick: to strike out with the foot or feet.
Soccer has always been a part of my life, and it all started with a four-year-old little girl and her dad. My dad introduced me to the sport I love now and taught me all the basic little tricks. Starting out young, my friends and I learned to enjoy ourselves and kick that black and white ball back and forth. With Fairfield soccer occurring twice a year, I had every opportunity to make new friends, become a better player and eat lots and lots of little orange slices. As I grew older and began to play competitively, I met my best friends. We all joined the same club team, Dynamos, and have faced weeks of practice, bruises and cleat marks together. My team began to feel more like a second family and the sport became more of a love.
Pass: to move in a path so as to approach and continue beyond something
For a time, my entire team hated each other and we managed to lose every single game we played. We fought constantly and could never connect well on the field. After a couple of months we figured out playing like this would never really benefit us and we decided to come together and play as a real team. Dynamos taught us that the only way to win was to trust each other and pass and play as a team. Our new passion of working together pulled us through and advanced us to the regional tournament. That summer we packed our bags and flew out to the wonderful city of Greensboro, North Carolina. All nineteen of us stayed in the same hotel and created a deeper bond than ever before. Between games of hotel tag, episodes of “The Bachelorette” and hazing the new members, we all became best friends. This bond showed on the field as we were able to pass with each other and play as a team.
Shoot: to cause to move suddenly or swiftly forward.
Now we leave our last season of playing with each other before we go our separate ways. My team and I are hopping on a plane one last time and playing in the national tournament. While bittersweet, we look back and realize we have shot forward fourteen years for it to come quickly to an end. This is our last chance to really prove that the four-year-old little girl has evolved to learn so many things through this sport. While learning to physically kick, pass, and shoot, we also learned the metaphorical meanings behind them. We had to learn to adapt to something new and just kick it. We had to learn to pass within the team, and play for each other. And we had to learn to shoot and spring away from what we know leaving thirteen years behind us. Soccer has taught me to be the person I am today, by showing me to work hard always, never give up, and believe in my teammates as well as myself. The Dynamos Soccer Club will always mean a lot to me. My older sister played there when i was itty bitty and i would travel with her to every game. I was shown how endearing it is to have a family of coaches and teammates who are continuously encouraging and loving no matter the circumstance. With this in the back of my head I knew when I was old enough, I wanted the same thing. I started Dynamos when I was eight years old, and about ten years later it is time for me to part. Throughout those ten years i have learned so many important things that I will carry throughout my lifetime. I have learned that working hard is the only thing that matters, forget what the score says. My coaches have always pushed me to do my best and that if we don't try in practice we won't improve on anything moving forward. I have learned that being a team player is one of the most important aspects of soccer. A true team player gives 100% while cooperating and interacting with their other teammates to bring out the best part of them. Finally I have learned to not always take life so seriously. While winning and competing is important we have to remember the little kid who started it all. We play the sport that we love for just that, the thrill of doing something we love. The most important thing you could ever remember is that you won't always have soccer to fall back on so you must enjoy it now and have fun! As i start to enter the beginning of my new life, I get to look back and realize how much this club has done for me. Oli, although I love to argue with and make fun of him, has made me into an amazing player (even if I won’t use my left foot!). Not only has he made me into an amazing player, he has helped morph me into the person I am today. He has taught me to be hard working, encouraging, and loving all at once. To all of the other trainers at Dynamos who have seen me grow, thank you for encouraging me my whole life throughout this journey. I am so thankful for everyone I have come in contact with these past fourteen years. Dynamos has given all of us the opportunity to flourish and grow at a sport we love, as well as turn us into amazing young women. Through countless camps, lightning delays, and road trips we have spent hours working our butts off for the game we love. We are no longer those little kids learning to kick, pass, and shoot; we are now young adults learning to be adaptable, selfless, and independent. Soccer has taught us to be all of these things and I can proudly and honestly say I would not be the person I am today without it.

The under-17 Dynamos Gold boys have advanced to the national finals of the Elite National Premier League, to be played later this month in Colorado, qualifying with victories over teams from Florida, California, and New York in Rockford, Illinois. Here are the qualifying teams for the ENPL finals: Beach FC (Boys ECNL Southwest Conference), CSA Impact United SC (Midwest Developmental League), Delaware FC (East Coast NPL), Dynamos SC (USC Champions League), Eclipse Select SC (Boys ECNL Midwest Conference), Gwinnett Soccer Association (Boys ECNL Southeast Conference), GPS MA (New England Premiership), Manhattan SC (East Coast NPL).

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Dynamos 02B Gold are champions, headed to Elite National Premier League Nationals in Colorado--top eight in the country! #dynamosdifference

A pair of thumbs up to Trainer Dave Hill and the Dynamos U17 Gold boys for advancing to the Elite National Premier League’s national finals later this month. No small feat, as the Dynamos prevailed over four nationally-ranked opponents during the playoffs held at spacious Mercyhealth Sportscore in Rockford, Illinois, and now compete against regional survivors July 11-15 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado. Congratulations and good luck to the Dynamos!. . .Fitness lads and lasses tried to brave through the bad weather Tuesday, but finally had to abandon Dyess Park after 38 campers were “soaked to the skin” during the mile run and tried to get in some work under the protection of the North Pavilion with muscle-bender Johnny Klander. The wind and rain finally prevailed. Director Mark Hunter, his staff, and warriors of the Conditioning and Technical Program took off for the Fourth, but will be back next week for the rest of the summer of Tuesdays and Thursdays. . .If you have items or photos for the Coaches Memo, please email tojwalker332@aol.com. Deadline for each issue is midnight Wednesday.

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Team USA!! Dynamos players had great fun watching USA vs. England in the Women's World Cup! Trainer Mark Hunter was alone in cheering for his home team of England, but says he had fun anyway. Front row (left to right): Coach Mark, still waving his flag; Avery Conklin, Lauren Fritz; middle row (l to r): Kayla Delaney, Angela Calderon, Amanda Hurt; back row l to r): Gabrielle Bienvenu ,Montserrat Mendez , Grace Ehrenfeld , Samantha Hansen, Ellie Muscarello.

“Brooke (Vandemotter) has been my little giant through the years. The tiniest player in the whole league, but with the biggest heart, and the most courageous. As the shortest player, amazingly, she is the best player in the air, scoring so many headers and dominating any giant she ever had to mark. She will do anything and everything you ask her to do, and no matter how hard I can be on her, she will just look at me, smile, and give me a hug to show her appreciation for coaching her, and correcting her. She is a pleaser. Her sister Hannah passed away dramatically a few years ago, and Brooke took it very hard. Yet she refused to miss any practices or games during that time, as to show that nothing could keep her down. I saw her struggle and work through tears during some of these practices, and the hugs became much tighter during that tough period. Brooke has also volunteered on many occasions during the Kick Cancer Camp the last few years.”--Oliver Finidori

The Houston Dynamos broke a five-game winless streak with an emphatic 4-0 win over the less-than-full-strength New York Red Bulls Wednesday night at BBVA Stadium behind two goals and an assist from Alberth Elis. With the Red Bulls already shorthanded due to international duty and injuries, New York sat far deeper than their reputation for high pressing and ultimately paid the price. What's worse, they lost two of the regulars who did play, Michael Amir Murillo and Kaku, to red cards. Houston continues in the top four of the Western Conference mostly thanks to their performances at home (7-0-3 at BBVA). --www.mlssoccer.com

Former referee Gino D’Ippolito, one of the most respected and most popular game officials in the United States, will be inducted to the NISOA Hall of Fame this summer. The induction ceremony for the National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association will be held in Yonkers, N.Y., D’Ippolito also worked games in the original North American Soccer League and Major Indoor Soccer League matches.—Michael Lewis, Front Row Soccer

Never interrupt an opposing coach when he is making a mistake, suggests Coach Cy Fair. One sure thing about luck, observes Coach Flo, is that it will change.