Last Match

We are passing milestones with Ian at what feels like a frightening pace right now: Thursday was his last day of high school (graduation is this next week), and yesterday was almost certainly our last soccer match together as father/coach and son/player. Bittersweet, to say the least: we won an easy match against a Utah team after dropping a pair of close matches against teams from Utah and Nevada, matches we could have and probably should have won. Soccer is a funny game, and sometimes it’s simply not enough to play better than the opponent…

We ended our season with a trip to the Salt Lake City area to play in the Wasatch Classic tournament. We ended up coming down with 15 of our guys and played well, but were more than a little unlucky on both sides of the ball particularly in our second match. So that easy win yesterday represents what will be — unless something really unexpected would occur — the last time I will coach Ian or a team he’s playing with. This, in particular, has been a fun season to have been with these guys, in part because we had some success but more because the mix of young men and personalities were just a pleasure to work with and the be around.

It has been an incredible experience as a coach and as a father to have watched him grow and develop as a player and as a young man over these 10-plus years. I know it hasn’t always been easy for him to be a coach’s kid, but he has dealt with that aspect of this with grace. I’m tremendously proud of him, and grateful to have had this opportunity.