The Barnes home is getting ready for its annual Thanksgiving actions. The seven girls and boys, ranging in ages from 22 to six, take part in avenue soccer outdoors their residence in Compton, with father Jamaal and mom Leslie serving because the quarterbacks.
“Hopefully they’ll forfeit so I’ll continue to be Thanksgiving champion,” mentioned Jamaal, the basketball coach at Garfield Excessive.
“This house is very competitive, no matter what it is,” mentioned Jayden, a junior receiver and defensive again for Garfield’s soccer workforce. “He never loses. He always cheats when he plays. That’s how he wins.”
Sure, the smack speak has begun earlier than turkey and yams have been served.
Sadly, Jayden has been barred from enjoying on this 12 months’s household basic.
“This year is different,” Jamaal mentioned.
The household is taking no probabilities with a Metropolis Part Open Division championship on the road on Saturday at Valley Faculty when Garfield performs Lake Balboa Birmingham, so the specter of harm will drive Jayden to decide on sides. One thing tells me mother is getting his assist, since she’s doing the cooking.
“I love yams,” he mentioned.
The Barnes household has ingrained itself within the East Los Angeles sports activities expertise though it got here accidentally. When Jayden was 5 and in search of a youth soccer workforce, his native program folded. East Los Angeles’ workforce accepted him and the remaining is historical past. He has been enjoying youth soccer with greater than a dozen of the Garfield gamers for years and now they’re in place to be the perfect within the Metropolis Part.
“We’re praying for a City championship in the house,” Jamaal mentioned.
Jayden, a 6-foot, 170-pound junior, leads the workforce with 29 receptions for eight touchdowns. He additionally has seven interceptions.
Jamaal, the household photographer, has so many photographs of his kids enjoying sports activities by means of the years that he might put collectively his personal Sports activities Illustrated journal.
Jayden was once a part of the “breakfast club,” waking up when he heard his father’s alarm to coach early within the morning. He’s developed right into a standout athlete who stars in soccer and basketball.
“It was never hard for me to get him to work out,” Jamaal mentioned. “He would nag you, ‘Are we doing anything today?’ ”
Dad is rooting for his son’s soccer season to not finish this weekend though it means he may not have his All-Metropolis level guard for a number of weeks. Daughter Jada, 15, is a sophomore All-Metropolis participant for the ladies’ basketball workforce.
Though different siblings attended La Verne Bonita, Jayden has grown up round his mates from East Los Angeles.
“I’ve surrounded myself with a lot great people,” he mentioned. “There’s a lot of tradition and everybody sticks together.”
Particularly, the neighborhood comes out for large video games, similar to towards rival Roosevelt within the East L.A. Basic, which drew a crowd of 30,000 on the Coliseum earlier this season. Garfield ought to have one other sturdy fan illustration at Valley Faculty, making Birmingham really feel as if it’s a highway recreation.
On Thursday morning, Jayden will likely be working towards with the soccer workforce, then return to look at the household battle. Then it’s time to feast on his mother’s cooking. They’ll be watching soccer on TV and doing “smack talk to see who gets the food first,” Jayden mentioned.
All will likely be good to mother, regardless of who wins the road soccer recreation.
“She’s our backbone,” Jamaal mentioned. “Sometimes we let her win so she can make our food with love.”