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18 01, 2016

The ODP Experience

bumgartnerThis previous weekend I had the honor of attending the Region IV ODP Championships for 2016. I play for Cal North 99Gs and have played with them for 5 years. I have attending this event for the past 3 years and once again, it was a great experience all around. We had some climate difficulties that resulted in having one of our games rained out but it was handled well by the ODP staff and we were able to get through it. My team and I had to be patient in our pending games but we were able to maintain our composure and perform well. We made it to the semi-finals but lost against Utah in a well-played 70 minute game. It was a busy and trying trip but a very good experience.

-Faith Baumgartner


This year when I traveled for ODP it was a lot of fun. I always enjoy all of the new experiences that I get every year threw this program. I think having my teammate there to experience it with me this year was great. ODP has given me the opportunity to meet players that I would have not normally met. I think that it has also given me a lot more experience then my other club teammates because I get to see the highest level of competition and you get to travel. In the end, this year in Arizona I had the best time and having a fun coach also made everything more fun!
-Kira Broacha


ashleyI really enjoyed my ODP experience! The program is run so well, and the coaches and staff are amazing! I’m so glad I did ODP and I am extremely grateful for all the coaches who have helped me.

When I first went to the ODP trainings, and when I first arrived in Arizona I felt extremely nervous. But, I had to realize that I wasn’t the only nervous one there. There were many other states and girls right by my side who were nervous as well. Many of them being my wonderful teammates. I think that the biggest challenge for me was playing with girls I barely knew before. But, I think that is part of the experience. You form an unbelievable bond with girls you only see for a week or so. I will always remember all the moments where we were just always there for each other throughout the trip. I know that we couldn’t have played so well without everyone on the team. After all it is not the individual but the team who is the ultimate champion. When we let a goal in, when we didn’t move on to the semi finals, of course we were disappointed but we knew it would be fine. We had each other, and at the end of the day all that mattered was we are a team, and that we stuck together. My biggest highlight was defiantly the first goal we scored. We all jumped off our feet and we were so excited. We couldn’t have been happier. One thing I learned was to always keep working. This was a very important thing for this team during Arizona. We had to keep working until the final whistle blew. Overall, I was super happy that I got the amazing opportunity to compete in Arizona. I had a great time and couldn’t have asked for a better experience!

– Ashley Belshe

ODP has been one of my goals I’ve been striving for since playing soccer competitively. Being selected for the traveling 18 player roster for ODP was rewarding and exciting. I felt like all those missed birthday parties and school events in lieu of training had paid off.

My first tournament was in Phoenix, Arizona. This is a TEAM event, no parents are allowed to travel with or stay at the same hotel. I thought, “What stay in a room with four girls I barely know for five days?” As different we may all have been from each other, we all had one thing in common, we all shared the same passion and desire for the game of soccer.

Arriving at the event, I saw the score sheets with all the different states competing and a “check in list” for college coaches. I felt a little important, and enormous respect. Respect for the players, respect for the event, and respect for the game.

Although, some games were cancelled due to the rain. Our team played well in the games we did play. The experience of playing for new coaches, new players, new playbook was amazing.

We had some down time because of the rain but, we had fun getting to know each other, playing games, shopping, and of course lots of group selfies.

This experience has left me wanting to push myself even more so one day, one of those coaches on the “Check In List” is looking for me.
– Maddy Goldberg

After 2 years of working hard to make it out of the pool and onto the traveling team, I finally did it. Coming in as the only eighth grader I was pretty nervous and didn’t know what to expect from all the high age soccer players. Despite everything, it turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. Not only did I experience a new level of play but I met many new friends that I hope to keep for the rest of my life.
– Kieran Wallace

After coming home from Arizona and thinking back on the trip it was an amazing experience to represent Cal North and meet many new friends. The level of competition is very high and requires you to be at the top of your game. It is awesome to be able to showcase your talents in front of Regional and college coaches. Our team shared many laughs together as we all became so close on and off the field. The games were so enjoyable as team mates supported each other through everything. We were lucky to have 3 coaches join us. They were all very encouraging and were able to connect with each player and provide different views on the game. Overall a life changing and I’m happy I got to be apart of it!

– Allison Brecher

I am proud to have been a member of the Cal North ODP team for the past two seasons– what an amazing experience! Going into regionals, I was nervous, despite having been on the trip last year, because I knew that this would be the last chance we had as a team to win the tournament. I definitely felt the pressure, but I knew that I had to perform in order to prove myself. One of the hardest things for me was overcoming my doubt, since last year, I didn’t play as well as I knew I could have, and I also realized that I had already proven that I was a great player by making it onto the team, so I knew that I was capable of playing to my greatest potential. As we were driving to the first game, my apprehension was growing, but I did not want a repeat of last year– I wanted to show that all the doubt that had limited my play had been replaced with confidence. To calm down and assure myself that I could have a phenomenal weekend, I listed all the things that I excelled at on the field and everything I was capable of doing in my head, which I think really helped bolster my play over the three days.

As I had hoped, my performance this time around was a vast improvement over the previous year. Specifically, I felt that I was more successful in 1v1 defending, plus I was able to get forward more and contribute to the attack, which I think was a positive contribution to my team’s offense. I overcame the mental block that held me back from reaching the level I could play at, and ignored all fatigue and pain until the last whistle blew. My play overall was definitely stronger this year, which I am very proud about. Although we didn’t make it as far this year, I personally felt that the weekend was positive overall. I learned that hard work and persistence pays off, and that it is extremely important to not only focus on the physical part of the game, but also the mental aspect, because any doubt can limit the extent to which you can succeed. Mental strength and discipline is the key to a confident, strong performance on the field. I found that over this short time, I was able to grow as a player and learn how to prepare before a game so that I can play my very best.

– Mariah Brown

11 01, 2016

RAGE U12 White – Alameda County Food Bank

foodbankHello! Our names our Gwen, Samaan, and Carly (left to right). We are from RAGE U12 white. For our community service project we decided to help out at the Alameda County Food Bank. We decided to help out the food bank because they needed volunteers and thought why not help out some of the people in need?

The Alameda County Food Bank is a warehouse that holds a bunch of healthy produce. They gather up volunteers that help package food on a daily basis. That day we were bagging oranges. The people that worked there said that the oranges don’t have to be perfect because they weren’t picky like us, they were just grateful to have food. This made us sad but we were glad that we got to help someone out that day.

At the food bank we did learn a lot. Did you know.. that they said that we could end world hunger by in 2018?! We didn’t believe at first but realized they were serious. With all the donations they got and what they had, we CAN end world hunger by 2018. Moreover, they taught us more about that stuff and to be grateful for what you had.

When they gave us a tour around, they had almost an acre of the warehouse with just fresh produce. And when we got more deeper in the tour, they showed us wine boxes. Of course there wasn’t any wine in there. Instead, meals like pasta noodles and pasta sauce with healthy snacks were in their waiting to be given to a family that needs it. This again made us happy that we got to help someone out that day.

We learned a lot at the Alameda County Food Bank. We also got a lifetime memory experience. It was good to know that we got to help a variety of families out. It makes them a whole lot brighter, which then makes us even happier than we already are which later on puts us in a good mood! Overall, we had fun and enjoyed being there.

6 01, 2016


Leadership Service Project

By: Lindsay Otto, Katy Nanney, & Jordan Peters

Team: U14 Orange

For our leadership assignment we chose a project where we collected supplies from our teammates and used them to create birthday boxes. These boxes would then go to kids who aren’t able to celebrate their birthdays. We asked each of our teammates to bring materials for a box. These materials were cake mix, frosting, $10 gift, books, and decorations. Each box was also labeled a certain age range, like an 8 year old girl.

u14orange2 u14orange1

All throughout the last week of October, our team brought us boxes of materials. We later met up to put together and wrap the boxes. Along with it, we made cute birthday cards. Adding a few things the boxes lacked, we filled each box with equal amounts of gifts, decorations, and cake. After, we emailed a Livermore shelter and scheduled a drop off date. On November 25 we dropped off the birthday boxes at the Tri Valley Haven Shelter. They were very grateful for what we had brought in and thanked us for our 15 birthday boxes. This project was really fun and we had a great time getting together. It was a bit hard organizing everything, but we still had an awesome time in the end.


6 01, 2016

RAGE U13 Bake Sale

My name is Meaghan Penrice and I am a goalie for the Rage U13 Orange team. I worked with Lizzy Shriber for my community service project and we did a bake sale to help support the National Stroke Association! A few days before the bake sale, Lizzy’s grandmother passed away suddenly of a stroke, which brought us the idea of donating our money to the NSA! The National Stroke Association works hard on developing the prevention, acute treatment, and rehabilitation for strokes. They provide life-saving stroke information and give voices to those denied their rights because of strokes.

We got together to do our bake sale at the Holiday Christmas Parade in downtown Pleasanton on the 5th of December. Lizzy made seven layer cookies and chocolate chip cookies and I made brownies and cupcakes, all for one dollar. Along with those, we sold candy canes for 25 cents each.
Business was slow during the start as people were watching the parade, but as we got later into the parade, more and more people showed up. Lizzy’s seven layer cookies were very popular with the adults and the brownies, cookies, and cupcakes were popular with children.

I had made a goal for us to raise at least $200, because our prices were pretty low. But, we exceeded our goal and got $313.85!
Doing this community service project made me feel pretty good about myself and how I was donating over $300, to help the fight against strokes. While it’s not very much, it can still help towards the association. By helping the NSA, it made me feel happy that they could use the money for preventing strokes, allowing more families to stay together. This whole project was a great experience for me. We’re really happy that we exceeded our goal by some way, and that the money we raised can be used to help the NSA.

Hi my name is Lizzy Shriber. For my Rage Leadership project Meaghan Penrice and I decided to have a bake sale downtown Pleasanton for the Christmas parade. My grandmother recently passed away from a stroke and I thought that it would be great to honer her. Megan and I both made Christmas sweets to sell and made more than $270 to donate to the National Stroke Association! We both felt very good after and knew this was for a great cause. Not only did we get to raise money, we also enjoyed watching the festive and exciting Christmas parade right in front of us!

6 01, 2016

U12 Premier Team – Food Pantry

My name is Kayli and I am on the U12 Premier team. When I heard that we would be doing a leadership community service project I knew exactly what to do, I wanted to help the hungry kids in the world.  

So on Thursday night my mom and I went to our church’s Food Pantry. Because it was the week before Thanksgiving, I helped pass out turkeys and groceries for the THanksgiving feast to the needy people in our community.  That was only the first half.

I also went to Kids Against Hunger to pack food for the needy people around the world. I went on Saturday and packed meals for the families in the Philippines.  My friends helped me as well as their parents from our church.  With over one hundred volunteers, we were able to  pack about 20,000 meals that consisted of rice, dried vegetables, vitamin powder, and soy protein.  In the Philippines we are making a huge difference because one bag can feed a whole family for a day.  If we didn’t do this they might not have gotten any food that day.   After we finished packing all the meals, the food will get shipped to the Philippines and be given to staff from Kids Against Hunger to feed needy families there.

Over the past few years, Kids Against Hunger has raised a lot of money to help fund their services.  Different places like Haiti, Philippines, and Africa get the food that we pack for their benefit.  Kids Against Hunger is having a huge success because of volunteers helping the needy!

This project was surprisingly fun, even though its was packing food. Doing this made me feel good inside!


6 01, 2016

Ella Piergrossi – RAGE U13 White – Pleasanton Fire Fighters

 My name is Ella Piergrossi.  I am in sixth grade and on the U13 White Team.  I was excited to be a part of the RAGE Leadership Academy and complete a community service project.  Although many community service projects benefit the less fortunate, I wanted to support some of the people who risk their lives and take care of our community.  I chose to focus on my local fire station, Station 2.​ ​

The first step was visiting the station.  Even though it’s less than a five minute drive from my house, I had never been there or seen it before.  That gave me the opportunity to meet some of the firefighters and ask a lot of questions.  I learned each firefighter works a shift of 48 straight hours, each shift has 4 firefighters, and there are 3 shifts.  

Not being with their families around the holidays, I wanted the firefighters to have some holiday spirit in the station.  In order to make sure each of the three shifts were shown how much the community appreciates them, I brought
​Christmas trees, cards, ornaments, treats on three different days.  However, I didn’t do this alone.  I sent out about 30 letters to people in the Station 2 service area, so they could get involved too.  On December 22nd, I organized a station tour. About 25 people showed up to meet the firefighters.  Many of them brought treats, ornaments, and cards for the firefighters as well. 
I found out Station 2 services Hart Middle School, so I involved Mrs. Geasa’s class in the project.  As a class we made 31 puzzle piece wreaths as ornaments.  The puzzle pieces we used were from a super hero puzzle because the firemen are our superheroes.  As a class we also made personalized thank you notes.  The ornaments decorated the trees and the notes were given to each firefighter.
I really enjoyed doing this project.  Not only did we give back to the people who protect our community, but we also got to learn a lot about what firefighters do.  Even though giving back and learning were an amazing part of this project, my favorite part was making personal relationships with the people who risk their lives each and every day for me, my friends, my family, and the community of Pleasanton.  Additionally, this project taught me how to lead, learn, take responsibility, and most of all how to help my community.
6 01, 2016

What If? RAGE U13

For my community service project, I decided to raise money for St. Jude’s. I first set up an account on St. Jude’s website, so I could ask for donations online. I then talked to Soccer Pro to see if they would donate a jersey for me to use in a raffle and they did. I called my event “What If” $5 could help save the life of a child. I thought people could donate $5 and enter themselves into the raffle to win a US soccer jersey. I also went out at night with my brother to sell chocolate pretzels for $5. We made over $300 by knocking on neighbors doors. I also sent an email to Pleasanton Weekly to see if they could post an article in the paper, which they did. My thought about this whole thing was that it was a great opportunity to help other kids that are in need. It felt good to know that I could make a difference in helping people. So far, I have raised $1100 for St. Jude’s. I have $1040 online and have mailed in $60 worth of checks.
I would like to continue collecting money and so have decided to commit to raising $2000 for St. Jude’s by the end of the school http://www.pleasantonweekly.com/news/2015/12/21/pleasanton-girl-starts-what-if-fundraising-campaign



6 01, 2016

RAGE U12 Orange

Hi, my name is Tiana Cello and I play for the U-12 Orange RAGE team. For my leadership project I have decided to raise money for my local animal shelter. Instantly, that was my choice because I have a huge love for all types of animals but during the planning of my project I was told of some terrible news. My family member found out she has a rare type of cancer. So, I had decided to split the money between my family member and the animal shelter. I raised the money by bagging up dog treats into bags tied with pink ribbon. Then my parents took me to the dog park, sporting events such as the NorCal State Cup and a local fair to fundraise. Some of my family members donated money too.

My goal was to sell more than 200 bags by the end of the year. Success!! I then took the money I raised to the Manteca Animal Shelter, giving a $100 donation to the manager, and the rest was deposited to my family member’s account @ https://www.gofundme.com/da78876k. Together fundraising over two hundred dollars and reaching my goal! This program/project has motivated me to get out and help. It made me feel so happy after turning in the donations to both my family member and the shelter. I was inspired by all of the RAGE Leadership projects. Now I hope mine will inspire you!


6 01, 2016

Alzheimers Patients

This Rage Leadership project was organized by Kenna Asmussen and Lauren Reeves. For our project, we decided to raise money and awareness for Alzheimers patients. We chose to focus our leadership project on Alzheimers because both of us have had family members or friends who have suffered from Alzheimers. We used the money we raised to make blankets to give to patients of the Sunol Creek Memory Care facility in Pleasanton. First, we called the facility to see how many residents they currently have. The facility currently has over 40 residents, so we decided to make a blanket for each resident, to make sure everyone felt cared for and included. Knowing we had to make a lot of blankets, we turned our effort into a team bonding event and invited teammates to help make blankets. Making the blankets with our team was great because we had time with friends and their efforts helped give to a good cause. Delivering the blankets was such a rewarding experience because all the patients faces lit up when we gave them the blankets. Handing the blankets individually to each patient made the experience even more meaningful. We hope these blankets will help the people feel loved and cared for. Making the blankets was very fun and knowing that we were making them for a good cause made the whole experience even better.

28 12, 2015

Ashleigh Garcia – RAGE Player Combats Hunger in Tracy

Posted: Wednesday, December 23, 2015 8:44 am

Ashleigh Garcia

Ashleigh Garcia

While some Tracy families exchange presents on Christmas Eve, Ashleigh Garcia’s family will be handing out 200 free meals at Dr. Powers Park.

Ashleigh, 11, is a striker for an under-12 team in the Pleasanton Rage Girls Soccer Club. Over the summer, she was selected to join the Rage Leadership Academy, a group of 20 girls from among the 2,000 club members.

As part of the leadership program, Ashleigh has to plan and complete a community service project.

“I wanted to do a project that would have a big impact on the community, a big impact on the people it helped and a big impact on me,” Ashleigh said.

She decided to raise money to pay for meals for people who might be hungry. She picked Texas Roadhouse to provide the food because her team has had fundraisers with the restaurant before.

“The project had to be done by the end of the year, so why not make it a Christmas meal?” she said. “There are some people that don’t have that Christmas Eve feel. I wanted to give them something special on Christmas Eve.”

Ashleigh’s goal was $750, enough to buy 100 meals.

She started by asking for donations or pledges for every goal she scored in the four games she was scheduled to play between Nov. 14 and Dec. 12. Of those four games, weather and her commitment to a regional team forced her to miss two, and she scored one goal between the two remaining games.

Ashleigh added the $50 she won for her second-place essay in a contest sponsored by the Tracy Press in May, which pushed the total to $1,635. That turned out to be enough to buy 200 Christmas Eve meals.

“I didn’t know I was going to do something as big as this,” Ashleigh said. “I wanted to show people I care about their situation.”

She and her father visited Tracy Interfaith Ministries, the Larch Clover Community Center, the McHenry House Tracy Family Shelter, Emerson House and Lolly Hanson Senior Center and gave meal tickets to the administrators, who promised to hand them out to people in need of a free meal.

The meals — a choice of chicken or pork served with beans, coleslaw and bread — will be served to people holding those tickets from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday at Dr. Powers Park.

Ashleigh’s father, Gilbert Garcia, was proud to see his daughter take on and accomplish such an ambitious project.

“How are we going to make this happen,” he said. “She has always been competitive. It’s always better to strive for more.”

Ashleigh’s family will join her in serving the holiday meals. Her brother has also recruited help from his fellow students in the International Baccalaureate academy at Tracy High.

Ashleigh said the project had taught her skills she hoped would help her become a team captain one day and eventually play for the United States national soccer team

“I learned to be self-confident and help my team be confident in themselves,” Ashleigh said.

Contact Glenn Moore at gmoore@tracypress.com or 830-4252.

Article link: http://www.goldenstatenewspapers.com/tracy_press/our_town/girl-combats-hunger-in-tracy/article_6fefab16-a994-11e5-8ba8-f3c3896edfaa.html