The North Lakes Academy boys’ soccer team didn’t experienced a win this season, and haven’t ever. They have been playing six years and continue to suffer loss time and time again. Students and players have grown tired of the continuous struggle for victory. They have finally developed a conspiracy for their constant losing streak, pointing a finger straight at NLA’s History teacher Eric Nelson.
“I think that Eric Nelson is the cause of bad luck this season,” explained Devon Beimert (12). Nelson has taken a lot of flack for his inexperience as a coach from his previous years, as well as the curse he created for the boys’ soccer team. “Since this goblet was made it’s only brought on bad luck. I wouldn’t care if the goblet were broken before a win.”
“The Goblet” of the boy’s soccer team represents “The Goblet of Fire,” a tall, slender wine-like glass with the names of five former players inscripted on it with Sharpie. The goblet was created by NLA’s history instructor and former soccer coach Eric Nelson. It is supposed to represent “The Goblet of Fire” from the Harry Potter series.
“The goblet is supposed to be broken with the first win,” explained Brandon Rowe (11). Obviously, it is still intact, indicating that there has not been such an event.
The team didn’t get a chance to bring home a win this year. Although they experienced another year of struggle, through their losses they have received gratification. Recently, after losing 0-19 to an opposing team, soccer Coach Joshua Ogaard received a letter from a parent of a player on that team. It read:
“When my son got into the car after the game the first words he said to me were ‘Those kids are awesome.’ I had hope that he had seen what I had from your players on the field. He went on to point out that they never gave up, they were smiling all the time, no trash talking and they were honest when a call by the ref went their way when it shouldn’t have. He did see what I saw from the stands. When teams in many sports get down on the scoreboard, they often refer to cheap unsportsmanlike play. I saw none of that last night. Your kids worked hard, never gave up and carried themselves with great dignity when the cards were stacked against them. I noticed that even after the last goal with fifty-four seconds left in the game, the boys were still hustling to get the ball back to center field to get the game rolling again. As a parent and coach of many different soccer, baseball and basketball teams over the last eight years I would take that over a state championship any day. It is obvious you are doing something right with these boys. You should be very proud of them and I assume you are. Thanks for your time.”
NLA’s sports organizations have always been recognized for their sportsmanship within the Eastern Minnesota Athletic Conference. The boys’ soccer team even got praise from NLA’s dean, Cam Stottler (@NLAStottler), for their attitude and sportsmanship.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the type of students we educate. Boy’s soccer shows how you can win even when losing,” said Stottler. The players are satisfied with the character win. Although they haven’t won for years, their attitude has brought them a long way. “The team doesn’t care if they win or lose,” said Kyle Spillman (11), “all that matters is that the team gets to hang out and have a good time.”
Although the curse is still an active part in the culture of the NLA’s boys soccer group, it hasn’t stopped them from performing to the best of their abilities. Some day a win will become a reality for these boys, the goblet will be no more. Until then the boys soccer team lives under the curse of Nelson, peering through the darkness thirsty for victory.
Written by Angela Adams