Hand-shaking, hugging, high-fives and tears were all elements of a recent celebration in Roy - a celebration of a new world record.
Twenty-two players from the Roy High School soccer team, led by coach Scott Nelson, took the soccer field on Aug. 8 and didn't leave until Aug. 11 - 751/2 hours later. Roy soccer fans claim that is a world record marathon for the longest continuous soccer game ever played.Participants are hopeful the Guinness Book of World Records will recognize the achievement. The previous record of 741/2 hours was held by a team from Wales.
Nathan Karras led all scorers during the four-day, three-night ordeal with 81 goals. Ronald Simonsen had 56 goals, Nelson had 44 and Todd Loo scored 33 goals. All but four of the 22 players were still on their feet when the final whistle blew. Sickness, fatigue and hallucinations caused the four to be taken from the game at the advice of attending paramedics.
Several players fell asleep standing up, and many of the players suffered hallucinations during the game. Some mistook shadows on the field for trap doors and stepped to avoid them. Others said they saw rainbows, butterflies, cars and trees on the field as the game became longer and longer. "I knew it was just a dream," said Jeff Manning, "but I couldn't wake up."
Each player was assigned a "pit stop" and given five minutes to rest every hour. Family and friends provided food, massages, a change of clothing, support and encouragement to continue their goal. Principal Jan Parrish, cheerleaders, students and many townspeople spent day and night on the sidelines supporting and cheering the team on.
When the Roy team broke the record, the student body released hundreds of balloons into the sky. An hour later, paramedics checked each of the smiling but weary players and sent them home to bed, where many of the athletes slept for more than 20 hours.