The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

Parents compete and connect through recreational soccer league

Under the lights of Cypress Field, parents connect and play soccer through the Brookline Interleague Football Association (BIFA).

Under the gleaming lights of Cypress Field, the Brookline Interleague Football Association (BIFA) isn’t just about scoring goals; it’s about building connections and celebrating community spirit.

Founded last spring, the adult league features teams specific to each Brookline public school, making it a platform for parents to connect with other parents from their children’s schools. The league is co-ed and plays games Monday through Thursday.

The spring 2023 season, while full of initial enthusiasm, faced a bit of chaos as younger players joined the league. Midfielder and parent for the Baker/Lawrence team Yoonjun Kang said that some of these younger players took the friendly competition a bit too seriously.

“The spring season was a bit intense. A lot of us are in our 40s, and I think some of the younger players who came in still have stuff to prove,” said Kang. “We have nothing to prove, so that intensity was a bit off-putting.”

Since the spring, however, the atmosphere has become more focused on the social aspect of the league. With good turnouts for every team, the games strike a healthy balance of competition and casual fun.

Matthew Bracken, goalkeeper for the Baker/Lawrence team, praised the essence of the league. He said that it provides an opportunity to stay connected with other parents in the community.

“For us, it’s about going out, seeing each other [and] making friendships,” Bracken said. “When you take it too seriously, the sport isn’t fun.”

All parents are encouraged to join the league regardless of skill or gender. Baker parent Kim Ritter is new to Brookline and joined the league to meet the other parents at her daughter’s school. The opportunity arose when another parent mentioned the league to her and said they needed a few more women to join.

The league, while co-ed, has significantly more men than women. However, Ritter said the women are formidable players who bring skill and camaraderie to the field. Ritter said the league has been very welcoming towards all players who have joined.

“[Everyone has] been really positive and supportive of the women players who come,” Ritter said. “I’ve had a lot of fun and I’ve met a lot of really nice people.”

Many players have been playing consistently for the last few decades, while others haven’t kicked a ball since high school. Regardless, the league’s supportive environment allows parents to play the sport they love while socializing with other parents. Bracken said this league has impacted his passion for the game.

“I like seeing the improvement of players from year to year,” Bracken said. “Might as well play as long as I can, you know?”

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