New East End Community School Soccer Team Enjoys Undefeated Season


EECS Soccer Coach Tyrone Daniels with Cape Elizabeth Soccer Coach Molly Brennan Following Today’s Game on the Munjoy Hill Field.

“Rwanda” Team Members This Afternoon at the EECS Field on Munjoy Hill.  Coach Tyrone Daniels is in White in the Back Row.  (Apologies for All the Shadows  It Was Really Sunny Out There)!

“Rwanda” – a new soccer team for students at the highly diverse East End Community School on Munjoy Hill is on a roll.  They’ve played three games this season and won them all.  This afternoon the emerging Rwanda team played the well-established Cape Elizabeth team on the home field. Rwanda  won 2 – 1.  But the two teams decided to keep playing on for another hour or so for the love of the sport..

The team, just formed in September, is coached by Tyrone Daniels and was well supported today by the presence of the school’s principal Boyd Marley and many of the School’s teachers.

“The kids were advocating for this team.  They wanted an EECS based soccer team,” said Boyd Marley, principal  as he watched students from the side line late this afternoon.  Parents of these students were busy and in some cases there were language barriers which made it hard or impossible for them to sign up for the Portland Area Youth Soccer Association league play – an Association of which Coach Daniels is President.

But many of these students at EECS are from Africa and the Middle East – where soccer rules. These students were already skilled players before they became an EECS team. That’s because family members have been teaching them soccer skills at home here in Portland.  “If I could duplicate him, I would,” said Principal Marley of Coach Daniels.  “He’s firm and kind.”

“Tyrone has organized these kids into a team.  Some of them have difficulties to overcome.  It gives them validation, a group feeling, a feeling of inclusion and being a part of a community with  teachers and class mates supporting them,” said Bill Loveridge, an ed tech teacher, at EECS.  He teaches kids with behavorial challenges and played soccer in high school.   Amy Gookin, an English language development specialist at EECS, said:  “Everyone knows that team sports help students become better students and better citizens.    Caroline Clavel, who teaches English for speakers of other languages at EECS, said:  “These kids have already been coached by family members at home.  They have incredible footwork and passing skills.  Cape Elizabeth wanted to play them to improve their skills.”  A fact that Cape Elizabeth soccer coach Molly Brennan confirmed.

One Rwanda team member told this blogger:  “I like playing with this team because they have good sportsmanship.  I don’t like people yelling.   They don’t yell here. I have to go back into the game,” he said as he ran back into the game from the sideline where he’d been chatting up this blogger.

Following the game, Coach Daniels, a Portland native, said he coaches track and field at Portland High School and at Lincoln Middle School.   He is a cafeteria coordinator at EECS. “Soccer has been a good outlet for my four kids.  The physical exercise helps them be social and to deal with anxiety.  They are focused on things other than concerns,” he said.  “Winning is awesome, but I’m more proud of their sportsmanship.”

“East End Community School is truly an amazing place.  It’s more of a family environment for the kids and staff,” said coach Tyrone Daniels, following his team’s third victory on the soccer field beside the North Street school on Munjoy Hill this afternoon.

One thought on “New East End Community School Soccer Team Enjoys Undefeated Season

  1. A strong, caring community enriches all of us and makes us better players on every field. Congratulations Team!! Fran Helmstadter, Ithaca NY

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