Weston FC Takes on Grenada Women’s National Team
By Stacey Bomser
he Weston FC soccer program is widely respected worldwide. Its Girls U16/17 team was recently invited to play a friendly series with the U17 Youth Women’s National Team of Grenada to help them prepare for an international tournament. The trip was coordinated by CONCACAF, one of the six FIFA confederations, in preparation for the CONCACAF U17 Women’s Championship. That tournament featured teams from Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexica, Costa Rica, Canada and the United States. “The Weston FC team was chosen to play in this match because of our reputation and relationship within the soccer community,” states Weston FC Director of Operations Santiago Bedoya. “Since the other national teams were preparing for the tournament, CONCACAF knew they could rely on us to
provide the necessary competition to prepare the Grenada Youth Women’s U17 National Team.” The Weston FC girls certainly challenged the Grenada team. Weston FC won the first game 4-1 and the second game 6-1. The first game was played by Cristina Bichara, Oliva Reese, Tori Collesso, Lyana Steele, Kylie Brock, Carolina Carlos, Isabel Aguirar, Sophia Pacheco, Angelica Mazzocca, Alyssa Mendez and Jade Mallea. Shelley Rapp, Lyana Steele, Tiye Gallagher, Kylie Brock, Alexis Hanson, Gabriela Fuentes, Cristina Bichara, Tori Collesso, Olivia Reese, Alyssa Mendez and Sofia Betancur played the second game. Both teams were coached by Jamie Giger. In addition to exposing the girls to what it is like to train and play in a professional environment, Bedoya says the trip gave the girls an appreciation for their lifestyle. “The things we take for granted such as air
conditioning or the ability to purchase equipment regularly were highlighted in the trip. Our counterparts were in some instances playing with donated equipment.” Despite the socio-economic differences, the cultural experience was incredible. The team was able to do some sightseeing while in Grenada. Bedoya says he hopes Weston FC will be able to do more international trips in the future. Tryouts for the Weston FC soccer program begin next month; registration is currently open. Bedoya invites any player interested in joining a competitive soccer travel team to tryout. Tryouts for the girls and boys teams begin May 31st and will run through June 5th. They take place at Vista Park. For more information about Weston FC tryouts and registration visit www.WestonFC.org.
Weston Softball Association Is DaniStrong This Season By Stacey Bomser
he Weston Softball Association is WAL President Angie Miller says she’s dedicating this season to one of its not surprised by the level of support. players who is currently battling “Softball is one of the few all girls activities cancer. Flanked by family, friends and here in Weston. We are small in numbers former teammates, Danielle “Dani” Gabel making us a very tight knit group. A family. threw out the first pitch on opening day of We are there to support each other both the Weston Athletic League (WAL). on and off the field in good times and bad. Dani was part of both the Weston Area Family never turns their backs when one of Little League and the Weston Explosion our own is in need of love and support.” travel softball team. In her honor, the She adds, “Dani started her softball coaches and players are wearing her career on our fields as a part of our recrenumber, 7, on the backs of their jerseys this ational program. She is a shining example season. of strength and courage to us all.” The league is also raising funds to Miller says it was inspiring for the help Dani’s family offset its medical bills. girls to see Dani in such good spirits on DaniStrong Coordinator Amy Clancy opening day. The high school freshman created a fundraising site on CrowdRise was diagnosed this past December with with a $5,000 goal. In addition, on opening Diffused Large B Cell Lymphoma. She day they collected $840 selling DaniStrong is currently undergoing chemotherapy bracelets and t-shirts and with a bake sale. every three weeks at Nicklaus Children’s Dani’s mom, DeAnne, says she is grate- Hospital in Miami. ful for the support and generosity. “A huge “She is incredibly strong, in good spirits, thank you to everyone who has contributed and still has her funny sense of humor,” to the fundraiser and/or supported our notes Clancy. family in so many different ways. Our famTo donate money to support ily, and Danielle in particular, has been Dani Gabel go to www.crowabundantly blessed by the outpouring of drise.com/danistrongfundraisersupport from both old and new friends. We laterlymphoma. are comforted and strengthened by the kindness others have shown us.”
APRIL 2016 | OUR CITY WESTON
Dani Gabel throws out the first pitch on opening day of the Weston Athletic League’s Weston Softball Association.
Dani with family and teammates.
Dani with parents, John and DeAnne, and siblings, Amber and Michael.