The Soccer Studs’ teamwork was truly amazing to watch!
The winners of the MFEE‘s Amazing Fundracer 2016 are no strangers to competing together. The Soccer Studs consisted of Sebi Rodriguez-Vars, a former Montclair High School soccer player, and Toure Weaver, a soccer coach at the school. The powerful duo seemed prepared for whatever the race had to offer. Before the race begun, all teams were photographed to display their readiness and determination for the race.
The Soccer Studs quietly started chatting strategy and motivation amongst themselves at Nishuane Park, which was the start of the race at 1 p.m. sharp. The first challenge required Rodriguez-Varsto be blindfolded and gather three different color balls from moving bins within a circle where other blindfolded partners scrambled around. Rodriguez-Vars had to listen to Weaver as he had to guide his blindfolded partner to each bin. Shouting over the other competitors, the team got the job done, hopped on their bikes and rode to their next challenge.
As they cycled their way to Canterbury Park for their next clue, they had to jet fast to the Montclair Public Library. Since Montclair is home to many talented authors, one teammate had to hunt for four specific books, while the other waited outside with both bicycles in hand. With each book came a slip of paper, where the team had to decipher the four-word phrase.
It’s almost redundant to say they did things quickly, seeing as Weaver is the son of Roosevelt “Dr. Speed” Weaver and is a committed athlete and speedy runner himself. Rodriguez-Vars comes from a family of athletes, with his father, Ray, being an avid soccer player, and his older brother Ben is a former player under Weaver. Still, the team needed much more than just their athleticism to win. At Sharron Miller’s Academy for Performing Arts, the team had to master a traditional Indian dance before advancing.
From then on, the Soccer Studs calmly and quickly used their strong team dynamic to get past each challenge. At Woodman Field, Rodriguez-Vars and Weaver chose between throwing a football into a ring, kicking a field goal or digging their hands into a vase of crickets, where they had to eat a silk worm larva. The Soccer Studs seemed to down the seemingly cringe-worthy larva with ease and were able to race to their next challenge.
It was quite evident that their strong relationship outside of MFEE’s Amazing Fundracer 2016 truly gave them an advantage. One of the last challenges consisted of building a wheelbarrow at Rand Park, with Weaver in the wheelbarrow and Rodriguez-Vars pushing him to Egan and Sons, where the finish line and after party was.
Once the Soccer Studs crossed the finish line, earning their first place title, three teams shortly followed. In second place was Team Surf and Turf featuring Tim Anagnostis and Dana Spagnuolo from the Renaissance Middle School. In third place was Running with Di-Bulls featuring Heather and Kevin Dibble, who are proud Montclair School parents. Lastly, in fourth place was Lethal Weapon, featuring Eli Siebert and Christian Hart from Hillside Elementary School. Each participating team was devoted to winning and showing their pride for Montclair Public Schools as they raced with their hearts.
All winners were given a prize to highlight their victory and hard work throughout the entire MFEE’s Amazing Fundracer 2016. With first place under their belt, the Soccer Studs were given a basket full of goodies and crowns!
“It was hard to plan anything because of how little we knew about the race,” said Weaver. “We just knew we had to pick up time in between the locations by biking hard and pulling away from the rest.” It may not have been much of a strategy, but it worked. Weaver and Rodriguez-Vars enjoyed a prize basket and considerable bragging rights at the after party.
To view more photos from the MFEE’s Amazing Fundracer 2016, please check out The Montclair Dispatch photography website.