Power Of Place

Places in the world are essential to life as a human.  

When you leave a beautiful place, you carry it with wherever you go”

-Anonymous 

By Harrison Bertos 

 

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There is no place like a soccer stadium. I’ve seen plenty of soccer qstadiums, but there is nothing like Camp Nou. When I’m lost, I think of Camp Nou. It brings me in a place of happiness, and pushes away bad dreams and memories. Soccer is special to me, I look up to Messi and many great players that have played in this stadium. They have inspired me to become the greatest I can be. You wouldn’t believe how excited I was at 9 years old when I arrived in Barcelona with my family for summer vacation. I ran around the airport jumping off walls screaming “Messiiii!. I heard we were going to visit F.C Barcelona’s stadium Camp Nou.!Would I meet Messi? Would I watch a game? All these questions floated in my mind as I slept in my little room in the suburbs of Barcelona. I woke up to surprisingly be on a bus and hear my brother yelling “There it is Camp Nou! Posters of Messi flailing in the air with signs saying 20% off!. We got our tickets and jogged in, I was speechless. The display of trophies and golden boots amazed me. gazed at every single trophy like it was the god. I jogged around the corners looking for my family but I caught something in the corner “entrance to soccer field”.. I was off, dodging the masses of People in my way. There it was, the walkway was in front on my feet, I walked up the stairs every stair remembering each of Messi’s and my great moments. I looked out into the stadium and that’s when I realized. I wanted to play soccer my entire life. aybe a soccer stadium is not special to you but it is to me. My whole childhood I grew up playing soccer and watched millions of soccer games. I watched highlights of my inspirations, Messi and other soccer players pull of moves out of this world's it's where my passion for soccer grew drastically. Since that moment of seeing the Camp Nou stadium I have never stopped loving soccer. Fitz, I know you told me to stop writing about soccer, but I can’t stop because my power of passion for soccer is to strong to contain.    

 


Living old school

 

 

The worst day of our lives

By Harrison Bertos

A clean house is sign of no internet connection- unkown

“Yo yo yo squad up in ten”

“Bet let me hop on, I’m bout to cook you”

“Ha funny”

“Yo we have a problem”

“What”

“Fortnite isn’t working”

“Oh shoot it doesn’t work for me either, the servers are probably down”

“Wait noo, google isn’t working either”

“What is HAPPENING?”

“I don’t know bro, but this is not good”

“How are we gonna survive without internet”

“Hunny the internet stopped working again”

“Ah I’ll get on it. Stupid WiFi, never wants to work”

“ um dear I think there’s something wrong with the internet. I’ve tried everything but nothing is working”

“ aw shucks, looks like we’ll be having to live old school for a while”

“Bro what are we gonna do with no internet”

“We could go outside and play football or basketball”

“Ya but I would rather play fortnite”

“Imagine how fenn will handle this, we could barely survive a half day imagine a whole one”

“They might have to cancel school”

“Big facts”

“Alright let’s play catch I’m bored”

“Ok pass”

“ oh my god no hands”

“Shut up buddy that was a horrible throw”

“You know what this isn’t fun, I NEEED MY PHONE”. NOW. Let’s go inside it’s getting dark anyways”

“I know right I wonder how the old people survived without internet”

“ lol im pretty sure they used birds, typewriters, and pens with feathers on them”

“ lol wait since we don’t have any internet does that mean we are gonna be living in the dark and have to use candles”

“I don’t know bro but lately I’ve been having dreams about ghost coming into my room while I’m sleeping and if there’s no power, Tonight is not gonna be a good scene.”

“Ha bummer, your a 14 year old who still has nightmares about ghost, what a nerd”

“Shut up”, they don’t always happen just sometimes”

“Bro I’m tired let’s go to bed”

“ agreed, this day has been crazy, when the internet comes back, we’ll look back to this day and think about the things we did and how miserable we were”

“ ya lol, “Living old school”

“ I like that, that would be a great title to a story”

“Funny”


Power of Passion

 

A passion is something all should have


By Harrison Bertos

 

 

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“Allow your passion to become your purpose and it will one day become your profession”

-Anonymous 

      Life is death, without a passion. A soccer ball on my feet is something special. Even if it’s just a couple touches with a soccer ball in my tiny basement or outside on the grass, it makes my day complete to play soccer. There is nothing, I would rather do than play soccer.  When it was the first day of kindergarten soccer. The early morning dew was just glistening on the grass. Max  and I jogged onto the field. It was our first kindergarten soccer game and boy, I was excited. Max and I  believed we were the best in the world, a dynamic duo. We were confident that we would beat this other team easily. We would go onto the World Cup with ease. “Tweet!” The game started. Max and I sprinted after the ball like tigers. Teammates and fans stared in awe as me and maxed moved the ball around. Cycling through the defense as I assisted Max for another goal. The score was already 5-0 within the first couple minutes. The opposing team was down and sad. Max and I decided to let the opposing team score a couple goals which gave them hope and happiness. After the whistle blew we had lost 6-5. We walked through the handshake line and the other coach took me aside and said: “you are an example of a great player”. That game was a turning point in my life. Even though it was a small little event in my life and we hadn't even won. It made me feel great inside, the coach had made my day. It made me want to play soccer for the rest of my life to get another compliment from a coach. I continued to play soccer throughout my childhood, having so much fun with my friends and the soccer ball. I couldn’t believe that one coaches word, would influence me to play soccer my whole life. Soccer is now my best sport, and I've traveled all over the world for it! Passion is something special. Everyone should have their own, it’s like death, without a passion. 


The Power Of Family

Family Never lets me down

By Harrison Bertos 

 

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“Family Will Never Die”

-Anonymous 

            It is my family, who teaches me the most important lessons. My family has taught me always be respectful, even when given a present that I don’t like.  My mom and dad have taught me to always have graditude rather than be selfish.  A beautiful Christmas Day. All my brothers and sisters jumped on me to wake up “ Harry Let's go!  tiptoeing down the stairs silently. Through the windows, you could see the beautiful snow. We got to the final door, filled with excitement. We peeked through the hole and I was amazed. We all gathered around our massive Christmas tree, waiting to get a turn to go. I eyed a present to my left. Looking at it I thought, it had to be the new Xbox. The beautiful stars on the box, it  signaled something special to me.“Harry you can go now”I grabbed the box with my two hands. I ripped open the box like a lion munching its prey. The package read The Dora’s Explorer Pack. “ No, I hate this!!!”. I was sent up to my room immediately. In a few minutes, I got a knock on my door from my dad. He came in and taught me how to act next time I was given a present. I apologized, and I was invited back into my family right away. A family is my heart, it’s what I need to live. Even though screaming about a bad Christmas present was just a little mistake. This lesson my parents taught me, I’ve carried with me throughout my whole life. These small lessons are what makes my life so great. I will always love my family, and they will always love me.


The Youdan Trophy

An Experience  I Will Never Forget

By Harrison Bertos

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“The harder you work, the more you will succeed”

-Harrison Bertos 

       The water poured down like the falls. Water drenched all over me as I stood over the 6’5” kid from the English National team . He looked down at me like an ant, and he received the ball and put it right through my long skinny legs. My summer was enlightened with rejoice, reunions with old friends, tons of intense soccer and it all started on June 7th, the last day of school. This summer, I traveled all around the world to places like Greece and England. In these travels, I learned more about the world, and the many cultural differences across the oceans. The beautiful places throughout these countries helped me reflect; it put me in the moment. It opened my mind to new experiences// but, there was one journey…that stood out to me more than all of them.

   This summer I went on many beautiful, exciting and interesting trips. The first stop was  England. I was invited to play with a team with players form all over the United States with my GPS club soccer team. I was really excited about this opportunity but also scared to see how I would compare verses the other players on this new team. For me this was a special trip, because I would be traveling and playing in a world wide tournament against youth premiere league teams. The day we arrived was dreadful, the jet lag was killing all of us.  I should have know the jet lag would be hard as my family makes this trip to Europe every year. When we settled in our rooms, I got to know my teammates. We needed to be friends to have good chemistry if we wanted to win. It was time for our first practice.  We walked down to the pitch at 4 o’clock my knees were shaking and sweat was dripping down me like a rainstorm.  I couldn’t focus but knew I had to. As practice carried on, I started to get used to the flow of things. I couldn’t wait to play with a new team with new friends from all over the United States. Tomorrow we would play a professional soccer team that originated from Canada. The YoundanTrophy cup was on its way!

      Beep! Beep! Beep! That’s all I could hear at 6:30 in the morning as I rolled onto the floor off my bed. Today was the day of our first game!  I jumped up off the floor, got dressed like a cheetah, brushed my teeth, grabbed my bags, and was downstairs before everyone else. The adrenaline in my body could not be stopped.  As we walked up the bus, I was glued to the sound of each person's music blasting out loud even though they had headphones on. The tournament had given us tons of special Gatorades to maximize our performance.  It was a hot day so I knew I needed lots of water, and healthy snacks. When I stepped onto the field I was mesmorized by the grass and the experience that was about to become my own.

     The game starte and the whole first half I was as aggressive as can be winning every second ball possible. Our team was thriving. We were up 3-1 going to half time and were playing brilliantly. The second half was not very interesting as we were scoring multiple goals and were dominating the play. Coach was very proud of us and it continued in to the second half, the final score was 6-3. Our team was buzzing after the first day, we were confident that we would beat the next opponents. We needed to stay focused because t tomorrow we would play one of the biggest clubs in the world.

    The next day was one of the biggest days of the tourney as we would play 2 games.  One against Sheffield  and another smaller division team called Doncaster Rovers. Our team knew that both of these team had been in the premier league. The first game we underestimated the other team and even with our confidence high, they surprisingly dominated us winning 3-1. In the locker room after the game, my teammates were sore and  tired, no one was ready for the next game. The coach came and gave us the  “you guys need to wake up, I didn’t come to England to lose to a low division team" speech.  He smashed the water bottle to the ground in disappointment and anger. “We need to step it up on the field and make it happen, so let’s go, boys! We responded with jumping up and down like maniacs until it was time to head to the field. As the rain poured down on us, you could see the other team's seven coaches. The other team had five players being stretched out by different trainers with the nicest foam rollers you will ever see. We had just one coach but it didn’t matter because I knew the passion and intensity would match their height and speed. The moment I stepped on the field I knew I was ready. The first half was fuming with intensity, each team fighting and Sheffield had pulled away with a lucky goal at the end of the first. Our team had realized that we could compete with one of the best clubs in the world. We all came away from the half with happiness and confidence in our face realizing we could win this game. Our team was pressing all over the field, in our minds we thought we could win and ended up getting a goal with 10 minutes left! The game was on the line.  8 minutes had passed and only two minutes were left! Sheffield had the ball pushing at our centerbacks as their life depended on it. One of our centerbacks made a mistake and Sheffield was in the box, and one of their players shot a beautiful strike into the top corner just as the clock had expired. Our keeper reached out as far as he could, but he only got a tip off the ball as the ball slowly dropped in to the back of the net. We had lost, we were just a tip away from overtime. Every kid was  sad in the locker room. My teammates were breaking water bottles, smashing shoes, and even yelling swears like “f**k Sheffield”. We were surprised to see our coach happy,  he was so proud of us and gave us a round of applause for our work. This made our team realize that we had just played a world class team and had almost beat them.  We realized we should also be proud and that is not always about the W!

     Today would be the biggest game of the tournament it was an elimination game and we weren’t  playing a bad team.  We were playing the Wolves, one of the best clubs in the world. All our players around the breakfast table talked about the Wolves team “ I heard they have a few of England's national team players” “we should just forfeit” “were done”. At noon we arrived at the fields and  I could smell the hotdogs in the distance.  I could hear the crowds yelling, and I could see the 6’5 men on the right next to us, on their shirt is said Wolves. If we would beat the wolves we would be in the semifinals vs Sheffield Wednesday. Our players on our teams were locked in. Despite their size didn’t care it was the team with the most passion and teamwork who would win the game. Throughout the game it was back and forth no one could stop each other’s offense, it came down to the end of overtime and it was a battle. As the clock winded down no one could find any way to score. Just as the whistle blew for penalties, we had no choice but to celebrate my teammates yelled “we can stop running” “yes”! I screamed at the top of my lungs. Our goalie lined up against the perfect, clean white grass the first pk form the wolves a miss, we made ours, they made theirs, we made ours and they missed a few more. It was over, We had beat the wolves. We ran in glory to our keeper, because we had pulled one of the biggest upsets in the cup history.

    Even though we had lost the next game to Sheffield again in the semifinals, it didn’t matter to me.   I learned a crucial lesson during this journey to England. If you put your mind to something you can achieve it no matter the circumstances.  Our team was from all over the country and we had only one practice while the Wolves team had been playing together for their whole lives. Those Wolves players we were playing against  might end up being see be a star like Messi or Ronaldo and we got a chance to play against them. A once in a lifetime experience for me.  This summer was truly amazing and  I am blessed to have these opportunities at such a young age.


Don’t Get Too Confident

 

 

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By Harrison Bertos 

    The pitch was beautiful in all aspects, the wind brushing in my face, I could fell my cheekbones start to turn red. My nose stuffing up, and there was no doubt that my hands would start to numb. The turf green Fenway parks mascot. The scoreboard displaying Fessenden vs visitor. The team we were playing was called CFC they were giants compared to me, but that didn’t scare me, all I needed was to have no fear and believe in myself. But having too much confidence and no fear is sometimes bad and it can cause vital injuries to your career in any sport you play.

Continue reading "Don’t Get Too Confident " »


Never Say I Can’t

 

 

 

Never step down from the challenge at hand

By Harrison Bertos 

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“If you can believe it, the mind can achieve it.”

   

-Ronnie Lott

 

 

 

     We never realize why we miss the easy “tap in” in soccer to win or why we failed the tests but did brilliantly on the assignments that didn’t matter as much or win the award that you thought you were a "shoe-in" for - the list could go on and on. Those mistakes hurt the most, the ones I regret because I know you could’ve done better.  You were thinking I can’t instead of I can. People like Nick Vujicic believed in themselves and have became influences to people around the whole world.

 

     In the summer, I couldn’t get one thing off my mind. Earlier in the year, my soccer team had a chance to make it to the national semifinals. We had beaten every other team in the group stage and had succeeded to the quarterfinals of the national tournament. All we had to do was win one more game, and we would be in the final four of the entire country! 

 

        The game started, both teams were excited but also very scared.  Players missing passes right and left. Throughout the game the tensions rose as we were giving it our all and at the end of the second half, the scored was tied! We moved into overtime. I played left back for my team and was waiting for my chance. Throughout overtime, I searched for an opportunity to steal the ball. The ball was in our half with 5 minutes left and the opposing team was leading by a goal and they were heading towards our net. As the ball was passed to my side of the field, I looked for a chance to counter-attack. I realized that one of the opposing team's players had lost track of the ball. I jumped on the attack and intercepted the ball, moving past the defense. As I closed in on the box instead of going in on the last defender, I froze. I panicked and lost my dribble, and the ref had blown his whistle, the game was over. I blew it for my team. I took this as a lesson and realized that the only reason I lost my dribble was that I was scared to shoot, and I didn't believe in myself.

 

      The universe of emotions that our minds continue to receive will never stop. As you sprout from one plant to another your mind will change drastically, but the way you think about yourself will never seem to change by itself. It’s up to you to change the way you think about yourself. Nick Vujicic a man born with no limbs because of a rare syndrome at the age of 21 still surfs, is swimming, playing golf and soccer. Nick also, graduated from college at 21 with a double major. Nick showed the people that doubted him that he could do whatever he wanted with his life because he believed. He didn't sit at home and cry like others. Nick did something amazing, unlike me, Nick believed in himself, and now he is an influence on tons of children and adults around the world. Nick showed people that you don't have to be the fastest, the richest, the strongest and on and on and on. Nick showed the world that you don't have to have anything you just have to believe.

 

      As a kid, I’m only so powerful, I can’t make you believe in yourself. It is only up to you to believe. You can practice for hours every day, have the best coach in the world, the best teammates, the fanciest cleats for soccer, and have anything else that is essential to your but when it comes to the game it’s all about your own mindset. Your mindset in anything is vital to your performance. Nick believed in himself and is a hero. If Nick can do it, so can you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A Slice of Fenn Life

The relationships we make when we are younger last for our whole lives

-Anonymous 

 

 

 

-Harrison Bertos 

 

       The moment I approached the field, I could smell the mouthwatering popsicles, the fragrant flowers, the runners of the Kevin White race trying their best to beat Mr.Crib.  I could see the fans lining up along the sidelines and the soccer payers warming up like no one's business I could hear the beautiful national anthem, the activities, the raffles and the huge bouncy house with laughing children. This is Fenn Homecoming.

 

     I’ve been waiting for two years to play at the Fenn Homecoming, and this was the day. Last year I had made the varsity team and boy, can I tell you, I was so excited for Homecoming. To play on this day was a dream for me when I was younger because I knew there was more than 300 people who came to see your team play. When I played middle school soccer in 6th grade, my Mom decided to take me to homecoming, and as I watched the soccer players  having the time of their lives and the huge crowd that was cheering just for them, I knew that I wanted to be a part of that team. Last year was my turn to play at Homecoming and it will be one of the days I will always remember at Fenn. 

 

       I could not wait for the game to start as I warmed up along the sideline. Every second was counting in my head. The referee blew his whistle as we lined up for the National Anthem.  After the Anthem was finished, we lined up and they announced on the loud speaker each player's name - my dream was happening. Once we got out to the field, my adrenaline rose, my legs were shaking and I was sweating a rainstorm. At the beginning of the game I couldn’t focus, no one could. We all were too excited and our game was not coming together. The other team was dominating us as they had about 6 more opportunities to score. At halftime, Coach Star was disappointed. He told us they wanted it more than us and they were more aggressive. I had calmed down and was ready to play. As we got on the field into the first minute of the second half, i made a long ball to my teammate who took on two defenders  and scored a brilliant goal from outside the box. It was 1-0! The crowd was buzzing, the students from our school jumped on us with excitement that you could feel in every bone of your body. As the game went on I really wanted to score a goal. I worked my heart out till I had nothing left and  with 5 minutes left I got back in the game. Tucker stole the ball from one of the defenders  and played me at the top of the box. I took my chance and dribbled past three players with ease. 1 on 1 with the keeper, and all of the sudden the whistle blew! It was a penalty. There was a foul on the player that I had dribbled by. As I lined the ball up on the penalty spot, I was scared to miss. I thought of all the players that had played at Homecomings before me, the ones I looked up to and went for it. I kicked the ball in to the bottom corner to secure the game.

 

       Fenn has been the most influential place in my childhood. Even though Homecoming was just a small part of my Fenn career as a student, things like Homecoming create relationships and memories that last forever. Fenn is an incredible place with an even better community. Not only does it have great leaders but also unique individuals that contribute in their own way. It is all of this that makes Fenn so great. 


Camp Belknap

 

Where boys become men

By Harrison Bertos


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“A mistake isn’t  a mistake if you learn a lesson from it”

-anonymous 

 

    Every single kid on brand spanking new Luxury bus was on the edges of their seats waiting to step out of the bus and see the place where we would be staying for the next few days. Out our windows, we could see the small cabins and the massive baseball field, displaying a scoreboard for Belknap vs. the visitor. Just through the trees, we could see a little bit of the beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee, 21 miles long and covers 69 square miles of New Hampshire. Me and my classmates as we ate our dry disgusting snacks, in our heads thought of the risks the we would take, the lessons we would learn, and the times we would bond. I couldn’t wait to step off the bus and see how the next few days at Camp Belknap would be. 

 

       We arrived at Camp Belknap around noon and when I got my first look around the camp I was amazed at the space. The amazing sports fields, the basketball courts were as clean as can be and  a huge dive tower near the lake. I was so excited to be here with the whole class and couldn’t wait to get to know more about my peers and to tons of fun games! We had lunch right away and then headed back to the cabins for some free time and to organize our bunks. In our free time, I thought of all the options of things to do - the dive tower, Kanjam, ultimate frisbee, basketball and a lot more. I decided I was going to go off the diver tower. The 12-foot scary tower was a little frightening at first as I walked up with my feet trembling. I was already wet from the sweat of how nervous I was. While I was walking up the stairs kids were screaming “do a flip” and “you won’t”. After I had finally made it up the top, I made the worst mistake, I looked down.  After a couple seconds of screaming, I just closed my eyes and jumped off and to be honest it wasn’t even bad.  After we were done with swimming we had a day filled with games and different activities until it was time to go to bed. When I was in bed and the lights were out I thought of a goal I had accomplished today at the campsite.  I realized that I had faced my fear by jumping off the dive tower. This goal might’ve been a small one for everyone else at camp but for me it was huge. The lesson I learned from this was to never, ever look down.

 

 

 

        The next day we reported to breakfast early to hear some bad news. Some cabins were talking and being too loud past lights out and the teachers were very disappointed.  Us kids realized that we needed to step it up as a grade, and had realized that we were the leaders of the school, we needed to start acting like men, instead of boys. Our class realized that we were not in middle school anymore and that we were high schoolers and we needed to be mature and role models for our Fenn schoolmates. So, that day, through the climbing tower, the sailing and the other objectives and activities our class tried our best to be respectful, honest, and nice in every way we could to impress our teachers. We were successful, as Mr. Irwin acknowledged our better behavior at dinner that evening. Later that night, we had a meeting with the Fenn teachers as a class about leadership. That conversation was vital to our grade, because it showed everyone in our class that we needed to step it up at Fenn. The teachers explained to us how we were the future of Fenn. Many kids raised their hands and gave their opinions on how our class can be remembered at Fenn. Some kids gave examples about how the little things really mattered, not swearing in the hallways, raising our hands and participating in all school meetings etc. I believe that our class will be one of the classes to remember because of how close we are as a class.

 

 

        Today was the last day and to be honest, I couldn’t wait to get back to Fenn. I was getting homesick and my stomach was hurting all day, but we had one last thing to do. In our cabins we made a cardboard boat the day before and we would race for a “huge” prize. Our boat, you could say, wasn’t the greatest but we believed in it!  At the end of the race, we had gotten disqualified for finishing in the wrong location but our team had won the sportsmanship award. Even though our group didn’t win, we had the most fun while building our boat and racing it. So we felt like we had won even though we didn’t. That is what makes a great team, and that is what our class should represent at Fenn.

 

        Camp Belknap was such a unique experience for me and many other kids in my class. Our class bonded at Belknap. It taught us important lessons that we would’ve never learned anywhere else. Camp Belknap made us ninth graders turn into real  high schoolers who understand the importance of our role at Fenn and for our future as an individual. Now when our class returns back to school Monday, we will be sure to lead the school like it’s our own!