Challenge completed

The winner of the 2012 Crossbar Challenge narrates how he won the contest & a $5000 scholarship

Levi Arreola Crossbar Challenge Juan Agudelo

Photo Credit: 
Olivia Cervantes

I can honestly say that I never thought I would win the Crossbar Challenge. To begin with, I didn’t know we were going to a Chivas game that day. It wasn’t until I got home from school that Friday afternoon that my dad said, “We’re going to the Chivas game today.” So naturally I said, “Cool, let’s go!” He told my brother and I about the Crossbar Challenge and I immediately looked at my brother and smiles. I knew that if anyone from our house was going to win, it’d be him because he’s a lefty and lefties usually have better accuracy (ex: Lionel Messi.)

After earing a small meal, I went to the backyard with my little brother Daniel along with a soccer ball. I saw the white beams of the house (the wood that runs across the house just under the rook), and thought, “that looks a lot like a crossbar.” I decided that I’d practice shooting at the beams. Just before I took my first shot, my brother said, “I bet you’re gonna miss.” I took my shot and BAM! Right on target! I took a couple more shots, hitting some and missing a few. In the end, I took 15 shots and hit the beam 10 times. I surprised myself, not believing the tally.

I left home feeling a bit more confident in myself, but when we got to the stadium, I could feel the nerves getting to me. Once on the field to take my shot, I wasn’t sure if I would hit the crossbar. But I took my shot, and I hit it! My little brother was next and I knew he’d hit it. Sure enough, he did. Now we had to wait a couple of hours for the next round. When it was time to go back, I felt that pressure mounting on me again. Then we get to the field and it turns out that there are only six guys, including my brother and I, to take the shot. I remembered that there were a couple of girls that I had seen hit the crossbar and we all wondered where they were. It was time to decide the order in which we would shoot. We settled that it would be oldest to youngest. I was hoping to go second, since I was one of the older ones, but it turned out that a guy with a mustache and beard was only 15 years old! So I took the shot first because I’m 16. Pressure was on, sound was off, the wind was blowing on my left side, and a heart pumping in the background. I set the ball on the penalty line, just looked at the ball and then the crossbar, ball and crossbar. Ball, crossbar. I exhaled quickly, and then took my shot. It looked like it was sailing peacefully through the cool wind, like if it didn’t matter if I hit the crossbar or not, then it padded the top part of the crossbar. The pressure was off me and was now on to the next guy. He missed! And the next one and the next one! Then my little brother missed too, which I noticed he hit part of the grass when he shot. Two more guys. One missed and the next little guy looked like he knew what he was doing. But unfortunately, he missed too.

That’s what happened on May 4, 2012. I am very glad I won, but I had some tough competition. To those youngsters who love the game as much as I do, just have fun with it, with a little send of responsibility, of course.