Soccer Memories - Tim

My youngest son recently played his final game of high school soccer and this triggered a conversation about our favorite soccer memories while driving home from Indiana recently.  Our family has been involved with soccer non-stop for well over 20 years.  A few of my favorite memories.

The first soccer team I ever coached went undefeated.  U6 in the Shawnee Soccer association.

Nick Welker on the walkie talkies as we traveled to Dayton proclaiming we had bogie's on our tails and to take evasive action!  Still brings a smile to my face as does the impromptu lacrosse game he helped organize,  Sadly Nick is a paraplegic now having suffered great injury in an automobile accident.

An eventful Father's Day tournament in Ft. Wayne that saw Sam Hribar giving massages to the dads, hotel security come to our room, Doug Billerman yelling "Get over here!" at a young card happy referee and a burglar.  Crazy!

Dave and Busters, Hooters and a crazy night when the adults imbibed a bit too much in Winton Woods with Treg's team.

Treg's game winning goal in the final minute at Warriors. That was a game that proved to be the catalyst for a great season.

Grant's freshman year at Ottawa-Glandorf when he played drop passes 3 times in a row and on the fourth time the OG defender jumped that move only to see Grant turn the ball back up field and leave him far behind. That's manipulating a defender / defense!

Lance's back to goal move while playing for Ohio Extreme that left a poor defender standing with his hands raised to the heavens laughing at himself. Best move, or at least the funniest result from a move, I have ever seen!

Trips to Erie, Pennsylvania where we stayed in a ski lodge just across the border in neighboring New York and saw and competed against teams from all over the world!  The Creek Classic was another tournament where we saw and competed against international teams.

The revenge game against a team in Treg's league that beat us using a 1-1-9 formation.  We played a 4-5-1 with Treg up top and smashed them!  Treg had a field day running free to goal.  Forced them to drop first one more defender back, then another and another and another until they were in a conventional formation!.

Megan Baumgartner recruiting me to coach LCC while at a track meet at Shawnee. She didn't like any of the other candidates. When she asked me to coach, I knew she had a passion for the game and that I would have a great leader in her. Both were proven true. She pestered then athletic director Pat Murphy daily until he hired me. One of my favorite players of all time. Not because of skill or talent level although those were good. It was because she strove for excellence every day and demanded the same from others. She was the driving force in getting that program to achieve as it could.

Grant refereeing in Crew Stadium for the first time.  MLS Reserve match.  Really cool!  Proud day for us all. 

The privilege of watching Brandon Morse every day for 4 years of high school seasons. Two of the best plays I have ever seen in high school soccer.  Freshman year Brandon is dribbling in along the 18 and bends a ball to Ryan Quatman's head at the six.  Still the best in-game play I have ever seen in high school soccer.  And in practice one day Brandon was going in on goal and in stride turned his hips first in one direction and on the next stride in the other direction before scoring the ball.  My description here does not do this justice.

Coaching against the Croatian Eagles. Never been prouder of a team than I was that day.  What a comeback!  The very definition of resiliency in evidence that day.  The foretelling of which was found in a crazy 6-5 victory in a President's Cup game the previous spring - the game against St. Brendan's Academy that will forever be known as the Psycho Soccer Mom game! This game against the Croatian Eagles propelled us to a great season.

A weekend at Pacesetters when we got our butts kicked but had a great time fixing diner in our hotel rooms, learning the Miller roll and, yes, another visit to our rooms by hotel security!

Shayna Niese asking if more people were going to score goals "this" year during preparations for our first season at LCC.  Yes!  We shared the load and set a record for goals scored!

Summer camp with the Piqua Indians on a Wednesday morning when everything suddenly clicked.  Xavier verbally directing multiple soccer balls at the same time.  Never seen anything like it before or since. 

A simple gesture by the Liberty Center girls team of inviting me to share in the team break at the end of the camp we did with them. It meant a lot girls!  Thank you.

Goncalo Branco taking on the entire ISC Storm team twice to score the game tying and game winning goals and preserve our perfect league season.  Only one other time have I ever seen a player skilled enough and determined enough not to be denied no matter how many defenders tried to stop him. The other?  Brandon Morse against Kenton.

I'm not sure there is a specific meal, but the fellowship we have enjoyed with the club teams at post game dinners. Picnics / tailgating in parks, BD's Mongolian BBQ, Mike and Rosie's, Olive Garden, Bunkers, The Cheesecake Factory, Young's, Der Dutchman, Max & Erma's, Dave & Busters, Five Guys & Fries, Dunaway's Beef & Ale, Biaggi's and of course....Hooters!  Those trips to Hooters with adolescent boys. smh.  Taking pictures with the waitresses.  Priceless!

The U19 Grand Lake United team from this past spring.  Best team I have ever had the privilege to coach. Great soccer players and even better people.  So blessed to have been a part of this group.  I love these young men and their families.  Such FUN because they have such passion for the game and are such hard workers. 

Wow!  I have so many more, but want to give my three sons their opportunity to share with you as well.  The ultimate might be the memories shared by the greatest of soccer mom's, my wife and the mother of our sons, Christi.  I look forward to her thoughts myself!

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