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Crosstown Classic: Building Friendship Through Soccer

The season has changed. Gone are the sweltering Summer days; in are the cool, brisk, and often blustery ones of Fall. With the change in climes also comes the annual Crosstown Classic with the Wilmette Wings.

The Crosstown Classic has been an annual event since 2003, bringing Urban Initiatives students out to Wilmette to play with Wings in the spirit of friendship, and there’s no better way to make friends than through sports.

This year five schools participated in the Crosstown Classic: Jahn Elementary, from Hamlin Park; North River Elementary, from Irving Park; Jordan Academy, from Rogers Park; McNair School of Excellence, from Austin; and Howe School of Excellence, also in Austin.

Upon arriving, students sprinted out to the fields at Avoca Park, making it a little difficult to organize, but they couldn’t hold back their excitement. Once they were settled, UI players and Wings players combined to play small-sided games. High fives and celebrations, some even choreographed, ensued. Teammates picked each other up when they fell and share many laughs.

After playing, it was time to eat. The newly formed teams ate pizza together, sharing stories about the day and themselves with one another. Two hours flew by and 6:30 rolled around. Our UI teams said their goodbyes and boarded the buses. Till next year!

A big THANK YOU to the Wilmette Wings coaches, soccer players and parent volunteers for making this Crosstown Classic a huge success!

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