August 2018 marked a historic moment in Conservatory Lab Charter School history. The school had just joined the Massachusetts Charter School Athletic Organization (MCSAO) and the first team represent the school, Co-Ed Soccer, was about to launch. As excitement steamed through the school, sports teaching assistant Mr. Ingram asked students to show their Coyotes spirit and help make history.
The following became the first students to represent the CLAB Coyotes in Soccer: fifth graders Cimmaron H., Sariyah E., Zaylia L., Giovanni S., Bryan R., Asia G., and Mohamed F.; sixth grader James O.; seventh graders Bryan D., Alhaji F., Dahmya P., Princess J., Andre R., and Simone J.; and eighth graders Nasier E. and Robyn G. Having assembled, the team could begin a journey of accomplishment and pride.
Sadly, the New England weather was not prepared to give the CLAB Coyotes an easy start to their season, with four games being postponed during the first five weeks of the season. This caused the team to play a reduced schedule of four games which did not start until October. Though the wait was long, the students persevered and continued to practice before school in preparation for the day they could wear the red and blue uniform.
The revised schedule saw the team play three away games before our inaugural home game. If that was challenging to begin with, it soon got a whole lot tougher when the Coyotes would take on the two best teams in the state from the previous year, UP Academy Dorchester and Epiphany. Despite the challenge that they would face, the students played with pride and a charisma which exemplified the very meaning of being a Conservatory Lab student. Sadly, the first game was a baptism of fire into the athletic conference because although the students fought gallantly, they succumbed to a 7-0 defeat.
Their second game, against Epiphany, saw the students face a well organized team and found themselves looking at another heavy defeat. However another moment of history occurred late in the game regardless of finding themselves 5-0 down. Alhaji Forfana of the CLAB Coyotes stormed from one end of the field to the other, beating four Epiphany players, before driving the ball into the back of the net to score the first goal in school history.
The third, and final, away game saw the students riding a wave of positiveness following the goal in the previous game. They took on a Edward Brooke Mattapan side that gave CLAB another strong test. The resolve and drive from our students showed as two goals from Alhaji Forfana and one from James Ozasee saw the school triumph with their maiden victory. As students celebrated their deserved win, their attention soon turned onto the school’s first ever home game.
In the final game of the season, the school hosted its very first athletic meet. A very strong Match came with the intention to not just make up the numbers. The occasion of their first home game seemed to put too much pressure on the game and sadly the CLAB Coyotes could not gain traction in the game. Match stamped their authority against the hosts and spoiled the party giving Conservatory Lab a season record of 1-3. However, the day’s shining moment was the spirit of the school coming together because during the game, the El Sistema department brought over 40 students to play a pep rally style ensemble which galvanized the team.
Despite the rollercoaster of a season, the students gave the school an immense amount of pride through teachers and students alike. The spirit and energy the school showed throughout the soccer season was also acknowledged by MCSAO. At a ceremony in November, the athletic conference awarded Alhaji F. and Dahmya P. with all-league awards for recognition of their performance!
Following a successful trial in competitive athletics, the school is pleased to announce that there will be three more teams running in 2018-19 academic year. Dance will be running during the winter whilst Flag Football along with Track & Field will be in the spring. I hope to have many more students compete and represent the school to show their Coyote spirit.
I would like to thank the support from teachers and parents this season, and most importantly the students whom put the effort in to give their time to be part of the team.
Many thanks and GO COYOTES!
(And many thanks to Mr. Craig Ingram for his enthusiasm, leadership, and authorship of this blog post!)