U12 Boys Superfish is a team from our Milwaukee Kickers East Region that fought adversity, and despite all odds was rebuilt from the ground up, and experienced success, their team story is inspiring. Coach Maren Hofmann Larsen has been coaching the Superfish players since they were 6 years old, their team was originally called the Flying Fish. Her and Aaron Birnbaum coached the team together until Covid caused all of the other teams of the same age (Tiger Fish, Rainbow Fish, and Manta Rays) to collapse into the current one. At that point, the four Coaches joined forces and coached the kids through the Covid shutdown year. This past fall, only seven players from the original Flying Fish team, and two players from the other “Fish” teams remained.
The Superfish started off their fall season with a very slim roster, they white-knuckled it through the first couple of games, but despite the circumstance the players never gave up, and neither did Coach Maren! They were eventually able to add a couple more players to their team, and an immediate impact was noticed, a natural transformation began to take place. “It took no effort on my part. The boys even came up with their own ‘get to know you’ questions to welcome the new players to the team, and within it minutes it was like they had all known each other since they were six years old, it was truly amazing.” Stated Coach Maren.
The Superfish U12 boys have shown incredible encouragement towards each other, constantly shouting positive words, and building each other up throughout practices, and during games. The team currently consists of 12 players who attend 8 different schools. When asked what her favorite team memory was, Coach Maren said, “I have to illustrate the camaraderie between these kids. One of our players finally made it to his first practice of the past fall season after he was out for the first several weeks with a broken arm, he is a quiet kid who works and plays hard, and when the boys saw him making his way to the field part way through practice, they erupted in cheers. It was a true hero’s comeback.”
Coach Maren also added that the parents of her players are the best group of parents a coach could ask for, and it is truly a testament to the behavior of their kids! The Superfish parents have built a community and have come together behind the scenes, offering support to Coach Maren, the Superfish Players, and the Referees.
The Superfish have fought through adversity. Though there were many odds against them, and at points they were barely able to roster a full team, they never gave up, they kept a positive attitude, and with time they were able to become a strong team again. Coach Maren never gave up on her players, and they didn’t give up on her, they bonded over their love for the beautiful game! The Superfish’s team story emulates perseverance, determination, and community. They encapsulate what it means to be a Milwaukee Kickers Team, a team that is proud and never gives up! Great job, Superfish, you’re amazing!
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