Language honor society soccer game

November 3, 2021

The Ladue language honor societies competed in a recreational soccer game Saturday Oct. 23 at the Fifth Grade Center. Spanish National Honor Society, the largest of the four, won against a combined team of the French, German and Latin Honor Societies by a final score of 10-2. 

“This was my first time playing in a language soccer game, and it was fun to be able to see kids from the other language honor societies,” senior Charlotte Madden said. “It was really fun to be able to bond with the other kids in Spanish Honor Society through an activity that we don’t usually do.”

The event was more than just a game, however. As the dominant sport in Latin American and European countries, soccer reflects diverse cultures, languages and identities. As of 2020, World Atlas explains that soccer is the most popular sport in the world, with a total fan base of over 4 billion people.

“We played soccer, [but] it was really just about the spirit of language and having the opportunity to interact with each other.”

Each society reflected its own identity both on and off the field. From names and slogans to physical tokens, teams expressed their own cultural pride. 

“We were team Costa Rica because Señora Sloan is from Costa Rica, so before the game started, as our chant, we said ‘viva Costa Rica,’” Madden said. “One kid [from German Honor Society] brought a flag and the German teacher kept waving it every time the other team scored.”

While language honor society meetings may be common, this one was unique in that it also allowed for students studying different languages to bond with each other.

We played soccer, [but] it was really just about the spirit of language and having the opportunity to interact with each other.”

— Senior Ryan Silver

“I really liked seeing the interactions among the honor societies,” senior Ryan Silver said. ”I feel like as individual societies, we never get to be together as one big group of people interested in language, but the soccer game this weekend let us all do something together to show our spirit.”

Silver, a member of two years and the secretary of Spanish Honor Society, had never attended the annual game before as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Madden, the Spanish Honor Society vice president, went in without prior experience as well.

“I expected [the game] to be pretty even but the Spanish Honor Society ended up beating the other team by a lot,” Madden said. 

Moreover, in terms of participants, 12 Spanish Honor Society members attended, whereas the other team, composed of the remaining honor societies, was made up of eight members (five from French Honor Society, two from Latin Honor Society and one from German Honor Society). Despite the large margin of victory, the game was more light-hearted than serious competition.

“My favorite moment of the game was when I noticed the ease with which we scored our first moment,” senior Kyle Cox said. “I realized the other honor societies were hilariously outmatched.”

Although outmatched and outnumbered, the other language societies still managed to enjoy their time at the event. For Latin Honor Society member, senior Ella Scheffel, the game was one of the first opportunities to meet and spend time with a variety of language students.

“I kind of hated soccer from playing travel soccer all my childhood, but the game was actually okay,” Scheffel said. “I moved from New York this year, but even though I was in a language honor society in New York, we didn’t have things like soccer games.”

Ultimately, for everyone who participated, the game was rewarding. It exemplified the role that language can play in fostering a diverse community.

“Language is something that connects us to places around the world,” Silver said. “And through the soccer game we were able to make connections to people who have a different world within our own world.”

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