Soccer Team Mixes Business and Pleasure in Arizona

After a hard-fought week of non-stop soccer in Texas at the Dallas Cup, Black Rock FC | Northwood Boys Soccer arrived in Phoenix, Arizona. The rest of Northwood School had just been released for Spring Break, so the boys of the soccer team were looking forward to the chance for some relaxation.’ Many believed this meant sleeping in, time by the pool, and no additional strenuous exercise. Head Coach Jon Moodey had other plans.  

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Day 1 consisted of an early morning wake up for a hike of Dixie Mountain in the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve. Hiking in the desert around Phoenix is only safe in the morning and evening because of the extreme mid-day temperatures (soaring to 100F, even in April). The desert landscape is stark and lifeless to the untrained eye, but wildlife and plant life flourish there. Owls, rattlesnakes, scorpions, and towering cactuses were all on display.  

The next week saw a mix of fun and work. The team trained and toured at NAIA Ottawa AZ, a 4-year-old University that focuses purely on athletics. The college coaching staff welcomed Black Rock into their weight room, locker room, and allowed the team to practice on their home turf. The U19 and U18 teams also got the chance to play 80minute friendly matches against Del Sol FC and Real Salt Lake FC. This totaled 4 games in Arizona.  

The highlight of Arizona for the team was a road trip to the Grand Canyon. The group broke up and hiked the Southern Rim. They then descended the canyon on the South Kaibab Trail passing Ooh Aah Point before eating lunch at Cedar Ridge. Views were panoramic as it was truly a day to remember.  

A final memory for many of the boys was the Fossil Creek Waterfall. Cliff jumping and swimming in the crystal-clear water proved to be a fulfilling reward for the long trek.  

Arizona was a great second leg to the month-long journey. It provided great balance during a soccer specific trip. 

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