Currently viewing the tag: "Fletcher Futbol"

So here’s what I love about Fletcher students.  They are very committed to their studies and careers.  They offer support to undergraduates and they burst into the community and instantly create an organization and resource for students interested in technology.  But they are also really fun people, and a frequent autumn rallying point is the Fletcher Fútbol team.  Men and women with soccer/fútbol experience jump into their cleats and unite to compete with the teams from other area graduate schools.

When the team is successful, somehow the news even works its way to the staff.  Or sometimes it isn’t a mystery how we know.  Earlier this week, Colin, a first-year student, put his inner tabloid sportswriter to work with this Social List report on a match against Harvard Law School.

Chemistry may not be a course offered at Fletcher, but the members of Fletcher Fútbol clearly know a little something about it.  Coming off a disappointing loss in front of a home crowd to the business suits of Babson College last week, it would have been understandable for Fletcher Fútbol to be plagued with fears about their ability win a game, let alone score more than one goal in a contest.  However, buoyed by the enthusiasm that only a graduate school sports rivalry can create, and the camaraderie that can only be developed through shared struggle, they threw off the yoke of their previous shortcomings and played with a level of intensity that will surely leave the soccer gods pleased for weeks to come.

Upon arriving at the field, Fletcher Fútbol found the parking lot packed to capacity (somehow the stands were suspiciously empty though?) and intuitively sensed the magnitude of the game about to be played.  The chance had finally come to avenge the memories of broken noses that had haunted them since the 2013 season.  Only limited revenge would be possible though; certain members of the HLS team were supposedly unable to secure a legal injunction to protect themselves from the diplomatic wrath of Fletcher and thus they were only able to field 10 players for the game.

With the autumn air crisp and the stadium lights bright in the black night, it felt like all of Boston was watching as the game kicked off a little after 7pm.  From the start, Fletcher controlled the play in all areas of the field, moving the ball around at will.  But the team didn’t close on any of the opportunities they were able to create until Kiely unleashed a vicious volley from inside the eighteen that found the back of the net like a fish actively trying to be caught.  Unlike previous games though, this is not where the scoring would stop for Fletcher.  Albert and David would both score before the halftime whistle would blow.

In an attempt to reverse their fortune, HLS hoped to effectively counter Fletcher’s multi-pronged attack with a goaltending switch coming out of halftime.  It was all for naught though.  Minutes into the second half, Liam made a ballerina-esque run into the box and scored a goal, emphatically sending the message that the onslaught was not over yet.  Two additional goals followed.

At the end of the night, the imaginary scoreboard read 6-0 in favor of the diplomats from Fletcher.

And there you have it.  Sports is a natural focus for community building, and soccer/fútbol crosses international boundaries.  More than many Fletcher student activities, Fletcher Fútbol pulls the community together, whether on the field or on the sidelines.

I like to follow the traffic on Fletcher’s “Social List,” the email list on which students communicate with each other about anything and everything.  Since the start of the semester, the prime topic has been the buying and selling of textbooks and household items, but nestled between the “for sale” and “sold” messages were others that, together, paint a nice picture.

First, there are the calls for second-year students to sign up as “buddies” for the first-years.  “Buddy” makes the arrangement sound so preschool — a more grown-up term might be “peer advisor,” because here’s how the Fletcher Buddy Program organizers encouraged new students to participate:  “We will match you up with a second-year student, whom you can ask for advice on classes, professors, work/life balance, and much more!”  Equally, the continuing students are offered the “chance to pass along some of your words of wisdom and advice, and get to know some of the awesome new members of the community.”

Then there was a job posting for tutors with the Fletcher Graduate Writing Program.  Once the program is in full swing, the PhD student-director says the writing tutors “help students with all aspects of the writing process, including topic development, research management, consultation with professors, and preparation of the final draft.”

The return to an academic setting can be a challenge for many students who may have been in the professional world for several years.  Supports such as the Buddy Program and the Graduate Writing Program help to ease the transition.

But Social List postings aren’t limited to support options.  There are also opportunities for fun!  The Fletcher Fútbol team seeks new players, writing, “It’s FLETCHER FUTBOL time once again!  If you like to play soccer, or even run around like a chicken with your head cut off, we need you!  This is Fletcher’s club team and we play other grad schools throughout the year.  Each week we’ll play one game and practice twice, and we’ll have a lot of fun and camaraderie.”  I’m a long-time fan of Fletcher Fútbol!

And the Fletcheros — Fletcher’s in-house band — are looking for new musicians:

Los FletcherosA new academic year has begun.  While reading about post-conflict reconstruction in country x, you find yourself wishing you could kick out the jams like you used to in your old band.   But you’re too busy now, you say.  Those days of sweating it out on stage and making all of your close friends bust out the electric slide are past, you say.

Think again, dear friend. For this September, your dutiful Fletcher cover band The Los Fletcheros is holding auditions for new talent.

For those of you unfamiliar with the group, for seven years a rotating cast of some of the most musically inclined Fletcherites has melted many a face with an eclectic mixture of rock, dance, pop, funk and R&B songs, both old and new.  We generally play four to five shows a year at local clubs as well as the annual ski trip, and usually have a Fletcher audience of 300-400 people.  Long story short, you do want to be in this band.

The Fletcher Social Lister, displaying all due cultural awareness, closed his email with, “Members of The Los Fletcheros, even those who do not speak Spanish, are fully aware of the grammatical incorrectness of the full name.”

There’s a student activities fair tomorrow.  Between the fair and Social List emails such as the ones sent by the Fletcheros and the Fútbolers, there’s every opportunity for students to find their outside-the-classroom place at Fletcher, as well as supports for when they’re in the classroom.

Alas, the fantastic run of the Fletcher Fútbol team came to an end yesterday in a replay of the final game.  The mid-morning start, and holding the game at Tufts, ensured that light on the field wouldn’t be an issue.

Despite freezing temperatures, and final exams knocking at their doors, intrepid fans turned out to cheer for the team.

As I live not far away and had a bit of Sunday morning free time, I decided to swing by the field for a while.  This, I’m afraid, was an unfortunate decision.  When I arrived, toward the end of the first half, the score was tied at 0-0.  But soon the HBS squad managed a goal.  After a brief break, our hardworking athletes returned to the field, only to suffer the surrender of two more goals.  Fearing that I was the problem, I headed home.  From that moment, HBS managed no further goals, and Fletcher scored one.  If only I had left a little sooner!  I’m so sorry Fletcher Fútbol.  I know you could have done it without me.

Mighty Fletcher Fútbol last night confronted Harvard Business School’s juggernaut of a team, playing to a 1-1 tie before Harvard switched the lights off on them.  LLM student Sevan delivered the crucial goal.  Back at Fletcher, team captain Sebastián updated the community:  “On behalf of the Fútbol team, we want to thank all the fans (100+) who cheered for us tonight.  It was awesome to see you all at the soccer field.”  To the team’s supporters, Elia vows, “Our victory (to come at a later date) will be for you.”

This is the semester’s last week of classes.  Exams loom on the immediate horizon.  But that didn’t stop the Fútbol enthusiasts from working tirelessly to draw their supportive crowd.  There were posters:

(Note the Movember moustaches.  These players excel at more than one game.)

And emails exhorting their classmates to come out and cheer for the team:

We promise you a very exciting game.  We play with the passion of the Colombians, the finesse of the French, the flair of the Italians, the speed of the Afghans, the sacrifice of the U.S. Marines, and so much more.

and, with no shortage of exclamation points:

Our football team, Fletcher Fútbol, have made history!!!  After a grueling season, they made the LEAGUE FINAL!!!!  Standing between them and the championship trophy: Harvard Business School.  Fletcher has never before brought the trophy home!  Therefore, it’s up to us to have a really good turn-out and get behind our heroic boys and girls!!!  Papers and exams are not due for another week. The team have worked their backsides off to get to the final, and it’s a fantastic achievement.  Now, with the full support of the School behind them, we’re going to act as the “12th man” and help them bring the trophy home!

And, finally, more posters:

The date for the tie-breaker game is still TBD.  Can our valiant players bring home the trophy?  Stay tuned, dear blog reader.  Win or lose, with the team’s endless enthusiasm and supportive fan base, how could I not love Fletcher Fútbol?

No.  There is no Fletcher admissions advantage for athletes.  I want to end that rumor right now, despite dramatic successes for three of our teams. Playing in the Tufts intramural league, facing undergraduate (i.e. younger) legs, both the basketball team:

and the volleyball team:

won in their divisions.  Congratulations teams!

Capping off a week of sports action, legendary Fletcher fútbol achieved a top-of-its group win (3-1!) over Harvard Kennedy School in the regional graduate school league.  The Fletcher fútbolers will soon play in the championship tournament, ably captained by second-year MALD students Amos and Sebastián.  First time to the tournament in Fletcher Fútbol history!  Let’s hope that Amos and Sebastián can count on three more goals from first-year MALD students Elia and Christian, as well as one from Sebastián himself.

If you play a little basketball, volleyball, or soccer/fútbol, consider joining your team of choice next fall.  While admission for athletes rests on their experience and academic ability, the same as for anyone else, we’re glad to know that some of the applications we read are from students who will contribute to a winning team.

Whether you call it fútbol, football, zuqiu. or soccer, you’ll be glad to know that student life at Fletcher doesn’t call for 24/7 library confinement.  Indeed sports opportunities abound!  Students join together to hike the trails, spike the volleyball, and ski the slopes.  But here, Fútbol stalwart and first-year MALD student, Greg Bertleff, recruits for his team.

Fletcher Fútbol is a co-ed group of soccer players focused on having fun while playing competitively.  Against any opponent, we bring a global presence to the field, with players from multiple countries, and team chatter in various languages.

We usually play a game each week, and league play pits us against Boston-area rivals including Harvard Business School, the Kennedy School of Government, Brandeis, and others.  We also take part in intramural competitions against teams from throughout Tufts University.  This year, we participated in the Thai King’s Cup Tournament (Tufts version), and in the semi-finals we took the undergraduate varsity team to overtime!  Not a bad accomplishment for a bunch of has-beens!

Fletcher Fútbol just started our indoor season, which will give us somewhere to run around until spring comes along.  At times it can be hard to put away the books for an hour or two, but we usually welcome the much-needed break from our studies.  Finally, with a lot of players graduating in May, we’ll definitely be looking for some fresh legs to keep us going!

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