Exodus: A Success Story

By Stafford Zeon

This success story began during the Summer of 1997. The group of 14 individuals that won the championship are mostly Liberians with one Mexican American. We have been playing soccer at Winter Chapel Field in Doraville, Georgia for the love of the sport. We then decided to organize ourselves into an organization in order to join a formal soccer league. It was put together by some of the present members and me. Similar attempt was made in the past by another Liberian group but it did not materialize for one reason or the other. This time, it worked due to the dedication and seriousness of the entire group.

The name Exodus was selected based on the belief that Exodus represents movement. In this case, movement on the field as well as movement towards greater things. As an organization, we intend to promote genuine fellowship, high level discipline, and spirituality. The spiritual aspect of our goals and objectives has to do with our background. Majority of the members on the Exodus attend either the International Christian Fellowship (ICF) Church of which Rev. William B. Harris is the founder and Senior Pastor, and the Bethel Church, pastored by Rev. Lawrence Kennedy. This spiritual background helps us to remain focused as well as love and appreciate one another.

On the roster of the Exodus Adult Soccer Team are the following individuals: Abu Kamara, a former soccer star of St. Joseph Warriors in Liberia; Stafford Zeon, coach for the team is an All American College and Georgia High School All Stars player; Irving Logan, Bark Miller, Tim Faith and Prince Pave are all valuable players of the offense squad. The defense is equipped with Kesselee Barkolleh, an All Stars High School player, Rodney Logan, Frederick Williams, Wamah Kuteh, Edgar Railey and Ernest Wright, the goalkeeper. He has come through for the team time and time again and has proven himself to be a great asset to the team. The other assets to the team is my senior brother, Shelton Zeon, who himself is a former college American football player. He contributed well to the team. And of course, Senior player Deacon Emmanuel O. Doe and the only fifteen year-old Gbanja Scott, both of whom have been instrumental to bring the team this far, especially the displayed scoring abilities of Deacon Doe throughout the season did the trick.

The first season that Exodus participated in was June 1997. We made it up to the Championship rounds, but was eliminated in the Second round by Dengue Fever. We then decided to play in the Fall Season which was August through December 1997. We competed in a league that had 12 teams. We were able to win most of our games, and made it to the playoffs. During the first round of the playoffs, we defeated our opponent 1 goal to 0; in the second round, we won by 2 goals to 1. As the result of both wins, we were qualified for the final show down against the same team (Dengue Fever) that eliminated us in the Fall Championship Season.

Finally, we succeeded in defeating them 3 goals to 2 for the Dekalb Amateur Soccer Association (DASA) Fall of 1997 Championship. The match was played on December 12, 1997 at Frank Jones Field in Chamblee, Georgia. All of our games were played on Sunday afternoon at 2:00 P. M.; it was a special arrangement made with Ms. Dot Smith due to our need to attend church services.

There is a youth (under 13 years old) group of Exodus. This team is also coached by Stafford Zeon and was assisted by Melvin Johnson, Fred Williams and Prince Pave. Exodus Junior played in the Spring of 1997. They did very well. The following individuals and institution were very helpful with their financial contributions and their time to support the team; they were Melvin Johnson, Mary Zeon, Henry Flanhma, Dr. Abayomi Noibi, the International Christian Fellowship Church and Ms. Dot Smith, President of the Dekalb Amateur Soccer Association.

The goal of the Youth Soccer Club is to develop these fine young men into discipline soccer players, to become good role models, and more especially to prepare them for future college soccer scholarships. The youth players who took part in the 1997 Spring are: Tony and Lamont David, Ruben Nino, Danny Garcia, Randolph Scott, Ralph Wulah Jr., Rennie Curran, Phillip Williams, Terrel K. Scott, Richard and Jonathan Wesson, Jason Lowry, Anthony Demazio, and Javier. We thank their parents for their support. All of us are proud of them, and we look forward to a better season.

The Exodus Soccer Club is optimistic about its future. Currently, we are in the process of raising funds to purchase new sets of jersey and looking for sponsors from either Liberian businesses or the African community. The assistance we receive will benefit both the youth as well as the adult teams. By and large, our success on the field and off the field, will bring pride to all of us as a people; parents, especially. Therefore, it is imperative that the parents of the youth team should make additional efforts invest some times with the soccer program.

Our ultimate goals are to become valuable citizens in our community and to become a Dekalb Amateur Soccer Association like what the Ethiopian Soccer Club is to Atlanta. The team that every other team in the league wants to play and beat. A kind of measurement for excellence!

Finally, we give all praises to the Almighty, Ms. Dot Smith, President of the Dekalb Amateur Soccer Association, and the few individuals who supported us. Also, special thanks goes to Elder Siahyonkron Nyanseor and The Perspective Magazine for publishing our story.