The Washington Post

Chantilly soccer lifts team spirit with balloons

CHANTILLY, Va. - MAY 17: Beth Forsht, the parent of Chantilly girls' soccer player Kaitlyn Forsht, decorates the visitors’ side of Westfield’s stadium before the Virginia AAA Concorde District final. (Toni L. Sandys/THE WASHINGTON POST)

When Chantilly’s boys’ and girls’ soccer teams each made the Virginia AAA Concorde District finals last season, team parents tried to bring a little home-field advantage to the games at Westfield High. For two hours they huddled around a helium tank in the parking lot, filling purple balloons to decorate the stadium with the Chargers’ colors.

“The girls said that was so cool last year because they looked up and they saw all that purple and it made them feel at home,” said Beth Forsht, the mother of Chantilly sophomore Kaitlyn Forsht, whose team won the 2012 district title.

This year, Forsht had all but forgotten about the endeavor, but when asked by some of the players, how could she say no. “Of course they waited until yesterday to say ‘Oh, we need the balloons!’” Forsht said with a sigh on Friday. “But here we are, doing it for good luck.”

First thing Friday morning, Forsht called a local party store and placed an order for 100 purple balloons. In the afternoon, she loaded up her car and headed toward the stadium. “I didn’t have time to stand in the parking lot this time,” she said. “I said no way, not this year.”

At the stadium, Forsht worked her way around the bleachers, tying the purple balloons throughout the stands. “We wanted to bring a sea of purple to the game,” she said. “Bring as much of Chantilly as we can.”

The Chargers went on to defeat Westfield, 2-1, for this year’s banner.

“I don’t know what we’ll do to top this for regions,” Forsht said with a laugh as she finished her pregame balloon-tying and wished the team good luck. “High expectations now. What do you think, girls? Next time 200 balloons?”

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