Barack Obama

President surprises high school soccer team: 'I need to kick the ball around'

Aug. 23, 2013 at 4:43 PM ET

President Barack Obama has never been shy about his love of sports. But he was celebrating others’ love of sports when he made a surprise drop-in at a soccer field in Onondaga County in upstate New York, near Syracuse. “I was driving by and just thought... I need to kick the ball around,” the Commander-in-Chief said about his decision to stop by.

POTUS arrived at Tully Central Junior-Senior High School this morning while the school’s boys’ and girls’ varsity and JV soccer teams, the Black Knights, were all having practices. He then joined in, making penalty kicks and practicing his dribbles (which, unlike the ones in basketball, don’t involve your hands).

The president is currently in the middle of a two-day bus tour where he’s talking about his education plan and his belief that college should be less expensive for middle-class families. “You all want to go to college, right?” he asked the students. President Obama continued, "We've got some ideas to make sure that by the time you get to college, you can afford it, assuming not everyone will get a soccer scholarship..."

Later, one nine-year-old girl said that meeting POTUS was on her bucket list. “When you're 9, you don't need a bucket list," he said. "Now when you're 52…” (President Obama just so happened to turn 52 three weeks ago.)

The White House posted an official Instagram video of POTUS talking to the boys’ team. The video was tagged with #makecollegeaffordable, the official hashtag for the education initiative.

But that wasn’t all: before leaving, POTUS did his best to stir up a rivalry between the boys’ and girls’ teams, telling each one that the other one said they would win in a match-up.

“I hate to stir up trouble, but the girls said they could beat you,” POTUS told the guys’ varsity team. The team’s coach admitted that it was probably his own daughter, a player on the girls’ team, who helped stoke the rivalry when talking to President Obama.

Game on!


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