“Big Soccer Boys” bring Big Smiles to Casa Grande Elementary Students

Casa Grande, AZ – On Wednesday, April 30th, Grande Sports Academy partnered with the Casa Grande Special Education Department to present the Second Annual Soccer Day for boys and girls in the community. Led by Coach Freddy Juarez, Coach Tony Bruce, and Coach Berhane Anderberhan, 39 Grande Sports Academy student-athletes shared their love of the game with over 160 elementary and middle school participants from Ironwood Elementary School, Mesquite Elementary School, and Casa Grande Middle School. The young students were all very eager for the Grande Sports Academy student-athletes to arrive at one of the three schools on Wednesday morning. One student had been telling his teacher all year that he couldn’t wait for the “big soccer boys” to return for Soccer Day.

The day consisted of a fun team warm-up, crab soccer, juggling tricks, relays, passing instruction, agility ladders, scrimmaging, and a question and answer session. The Grande Sports Academy student-athletes did a wonderful job of connecting with each participant, helping them get active, and making everyone feel special and included. The young students enjoyed hearing about the diversity of backgrounds displayed by the Grande Sports Academy student-athletes. Many said that they are planning to attend Saturday’s final home games and cheer on their favorite coaches.

Jennifer Golanowski, one of the elementary school teachers raved, “the students at Ironwood truly enjoyed the soccer event. It was great to see all of the students having fun while learning about soccer. It was amazing to see the impact that the boys made in our students’ lives in such a short amount of time. The event showed the students that with practice and dedication dreams can become reality. The students are already looking forward to being a part of the next event.” It was a day of lots of physical activity, laughter, and smiles from participants and young coaches alike. The day ended with a shared lunch and final goodbyes.

Grande Sports Academy would like to give a special thanks to Denise Shoemaker and Maria Rascon at the Special Education Department of Casa Grande Elementary School District for organizing this wonderful event.