Every year, DC SCORES hosts two community festivals and soccer tournaments for first through fifth-grade poet-athletes. Photo: Cody Cervenka
This month, the DC SCORES community came together for the nonprofit’s signature fall events: Fall Frenzies!
On October 18, Junior Frenzy hosted first and second-grade poet-athletes for a soccer tournament and community festival at the Fields at RFK, while poet-athletes in the third through fifth grades enjoyed an event of their own at Fall Frenzy on October 28.
Almost 2,000 poet-athletes were joined by their coaches and families to show off their skills at the events. The Fields at RFK, one of the District’s premier soccer venues, thronged with supporters, from the volunteers and staff members who facilitated the event to VIPs from D.C. United, the Washington Spirit, and Miss World America, who ensured that poet-athletes will remember this year’s Fall Frenzies forever.
“Our fall events really prove the phrase ‘it takes a village,’” said Jason Gross, Senior Director of Soccer and Operations at DC SCORES, who was the lead organizer for both events. “We could not have done this without hundreds of volunteers, and countless coach hours — it was wonderful to see our community wrap their arms around our poet-athletes.”
Jumping for Joy at Junior Frenzy
As the crisp fall air settled over the Fields at RFK on October 18, DC SCORES’ youngest poet-athletes were preparing for the biggest event of the fall season. Junior Frenzy included more than twenty soccer matches, three temporary tattoo stations, and snacks for participants.
Junior SCORES teams from across the District had the chance to meet, and compete, with each other in a jam-packed afternoon of fun. Junior SCORES matches are continuous, meaning rules that contribute to stoppage time — corner, throw-ins, and minor foul free kicks — are eliminated, so play never stops!
A Junior SCORES poet-athlete reaches new heights as she cheers on her team at Junior Frenzy. Photo: Cody Cervenka
Volunteers and staff stepped up as field marshals to keep gameplay and other activities running smoothly, while supporters lined the field to rally their teams.
“Junior Frenzy is one of our shortest events, but it’s always one of the most electric,” said Gross. “It’s always wonderful to see these kids discover their passion for the game at such a young age. There’s nothing like it!”
A Star-Studded Fall Frenzy
When elementary SCORES poet-athletes took to the field for Fall Frenzy on October 28, they were joined by a community of supporters and role models.
More than 75 volunteers were in attendance, refereeing soccer matches, providing food, and handing out free swag. Among them were Jade Glab, Miss World America District of Columbia, and Clarissa Ren, Miss World America Maryland, who delighted families as they handed out lunch.
Teams also met stars from the District’s elite professional soccer clubs, with many poet-athletes getting their jerseys signed by D.C. United captain Steve Birnbaum and former goalkeeper Bill Hamid, as well as Washington Spirit players Anna Heilferty and Dorian Bailey.
Poet-athletes met a number of the District’s soccer icons, including D.C. United captain Steve Birnbaum. Photo: Aileen Beringer.
“Meeting their soccer icons is always so inspiring for our kids,” said Gross. “It tells them there is a community across the District that cares about them, and people who want to engage with them and see them succeed.”
Sixteen game fields hosted cycles of 20-minute matches, with poet-athletes enjoying relay races, craft booths, and music from DJ RBI between games.
“Looking out across these events is always magical,” said Gross. He added, “Seeing all these small moments of joy, teamwork, and friendship, all supported by a community that cares, makes me so proud of this city and so hopeful about its future.”
*If you would like to volunteer for DC SCORES, the organization is seeking volunteers for upcoming poetry slams.
Middle School Poetry Slam takes place on November 15 at 5:30pm at Trinity Washington University. Westside Elementary School Poetry Slam will be held on November 29 at 5:30pm at Cardozo Education Campus. Eastside Elementary School Poetry Slam will be held on November 30 at 5:30pm at Ballou High School. Sign up to volunteer here.*