Coach Katrina Kangaroo — 20 years old, attends community college
Katrina has lost her soccer scholarship at her university and now attends the local community college. In an effort to fit in with her peers, she started smoking and using alcohol, which negatively impacted her ability to play. Even though she’s disappointed and embarrassed about having to come back home, she enrolls in the local community college and volunteers to coach a newly formed soccer team of second and third graders in her neighborhood.
Coach is honest and truthful with the other characters. She wants to teach them important skills in addition to playing soccer like using good communication, thinking about consequences, and learning how to calm down before trying to solve a problem. She’s really smart and helps them learn about the Solution Stoplight, coping skills, the facts about tobacco and alcohol, peer pressure, and respecting differences. Coach Katrina is originally from Australia.
Betsy Beaver — 3rd grade
Betsy is kind, caring, and tries to help everyone, especially her cousin, Ricardo Raccoon, who is living with her because his father died in a car accident. Ricardo’s mom and Betsy’s mom are sisters and like living together. Betsy is sensitive to conflicts and when someone’s feelings may be getting hurt. She trusts the coach and often goes to her for help. She loves to play soccer and considers herself to be one of the stars on the team.
Pete Porcupine — 2nd grade
Pete loves soccer! He just moved to the neighborhood with his Dad. They live with his grandmother because there were too many problems with his mom drinking. Sometimes Pete thinks it’s his fault that his Mom is an alcoholic, and he worries about her smoking so many cigarettes. Pete is often shy and quiet, but he is also a hot head and needs to learn how to talk about his feelings without pushing or yelling. He has a hard time trusting anyone because his Mom has disappointed him so often. Gradually he begins to trust Coach, learns how to be a team player, and gets really good at sharing his feelings using “I” messages.
Sarina Fox — 3rd grade
Sarina is spoiled and annoying. She wants things to go her way and is often jealous of what others have. She is so used to being treated like a princess that she really thinks she is better than anyone else and fails to consider other peoples’ feelings. Sometimes she does things to act “cool,” like smoking. Fortunately Coach knows a lot about smoking and encourages her to learn the truth about advertising, peer pressure, and the health consequences of substance abuse. Sarina learns how to become a team player and use the Solution Stoplight.
Amir Armadillo — 2nd grade
Amir is the new kid who joins the team a week before the championship game. Betsy has been injured and everyone is upset. Amir does not feel comfortable with these new friends. They’ve been playing together all season. He feels different from everyone else. He comes from Costa Rica, has no hair and a long nose, eats bugs, and often wants to roll up into a ball when he’s frustrated. He thinks everyone will tease him. After making some mistakes on the field, he threatens to quit right in the middle of the championship game.