With one quick glance at the release form, it occurred to me that this might not be the best way to spend $35.
Choosing to play last weekend in the Augusta Alumni Soccer games involved risk of injury to me, including death, loss or damages to me or my property, or other consequences, which might not result from my own actions, inactions, or negligence of others, the rules of play, the conditions of the premises or of any equipment used.
That's what the form said, in part. I signed it anyway and made my way to the pitch at Augusta Soccer Park.
The matches were put together by Dave Morgan, the Lakeside High School boys soccer coach, and other area soccer supporters. Proceeds benefited the Jenny Clark Scholarship, which provides funds for local prep soccer players en route to college.
Alumni from Greenbrier, Lakeside and Evans high schools were out in force, while a few ex-players from Aquinas and one from Westside also showed up.
Additionally, there was a graduate of Curtis Baptist School, class of 1981.
So when one player noted that many of the participants hadn't touched a soccer ball in two months, it was obvious I was out of my league.
Could it have been 23 years ago that my team at Curtis won the state championship? There's no way it's been more than 20 years since I suited up for squads at Augusta College and Anderson College.
My love of soccer was born back in those days, and that's the main reason for asking Morgan if I could join in the fun. It's been too long since I laced up the spikes, and this was an opportunity to rekindle the flame.
Things didn't go exactly as planned, and that's not necessarily bad news.
The turnout was so good that Evans, Lakeside and Greenbrier easily had enough players to fill 11 spots on the field. I joined the Greenbrier squad and waited on the bench.
The old rivals are still very competitive - Greenbrier's Bates Harison received a red card for roughing up a Lakeside alum - so it wouldn't have been fair for an outsider to expect an abundance of playing time.
As a result, my action in the matches against Evans and Lakeside was limited.
Just call it my 15 minutes of fame, because that's about how much I played in the two matches combined.
Soccer is a simple sport, but now I know why we used to run so much at practice in high school and college.
During those 15 minutes, I discovered that the field is much bigger than I remembered, and my lung capacity has become infinitesimal.
Then there was the vision problem. In the old days, I never wore glasses, and there was no way I was going to risk my frames during the games.
The first pass that came my way was just a blur, and the ball squirted off my foot and out of bounds.
With my former skills eroded by the passage of time, the only alternative was to hustle. The sprint to the ball, however, left me so winded there wasn't much to do upon arrival.
That was enough to justify my appearance. No one wants to believe they are past their prime, and a dose of reality can set a person straight.
For most of the alumni competing last weekend, their prime isn't a thing of the past.
I kicked back on the sideline and admired the performance of the guys I have covered during their glory days on local high-school teams.
Wes Kendrick and Wes Meadows, two members of Greenbrier's inaugural team in 1997, are as skilled as ever. So is Lakeside alum Prem Shetty and former Evans star Patrick Burke.
Greenbrier stole the show with a pair of 5-2 wins over Evans and Lakeside, and while I contributed very little to the victories, the final scores warmed by heart.
Back in 1980, my Curtis team beat Southwood in the Southeastern Association of Independent Schools Association state finals. The score that secured the state championship was 5-2.
As it turned out, my $35 was well spent. You can't put a price on retrieving great memories.
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