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One moment please.... Growing up together


Fri, Aug 17th, 2012
Posted in All Commentary

This is the second year Fillmore Central Community Education has held a summer youth soccer program that lasts seven weeks starting the first week of July. On Tuesday, August 14, 2012, the last session of soccer involved a match between the kids (and coaches) and parents. The program has expanded from 23 children in 2011 to 54 children in 2012, with ages ranging from three to 10. A special thanks goes out to coaches Jessica Marzolf and Aaron Nevalainen. Photo by Alissa Stelpflug

The Class of 2025

This past week really made me think about how swiftly the years are flying by. Our kids, more than anything, are my measurement of time.

Last Monday evening, Tonya Keim organized a gathering in Harmony for all of the families of children graduating from Fillmore Central High School in 2025. Yes, this was what I would refer to as a “pre-union” for the Class of 2025, since they are entering kindergarten this week.

It was a potluck full of more food than a Thanksgiving feast. The kids played while the parents chatted. Of course, I’d like to commend Tonya for bringing it all together. This event wouldn’t have happened without her efforts.

We also had group pictures of the Class of 2025 taken on the bleachers of the football field. It will be wonderful to look back on those pictures about 13 years from now and see how the kids have changed. I hope we have more events like this over the years. Thanks to Tonya!

What was most interesting to me was the car ride back home to Fountain. I told my wife, “Wow! Olivia will graduate in 2023 and I will be 49-years-old. I’ll be 51-years-old when Landon graduates from high school.”

Listening to our conversation, Olivia said, “Whoa! You’ll be 51!?!”

Well, if that doesn’t make you get excited about getting old, I don’t know what does.

Just For Kicks

On Tuesday night, we had our last Fillmore Central Community Education Youth Soccer session with a parents versus kids and coaches game. As I told the kids, ranging from three-years-old on up to 10, this was their biggest game of the season.

And, it was quite an event. Right at kick-off, the parents took possession of the ball. And, I wish I would have videotaped that kick-off. It was like the running of the bulls. The kids swarmed in the direction of whichever parent went after the soccer ball. Sometimes, there were so many kids crowding around the ball, that you couldn’t even see if there was a soccer ball in the mix. And, then someone would punt the ball out of the pile of kids and the swarm would follow that black-and-white checkered orb.

Right away, the parents marched down the field and chalked up three unanswered goals. But, as time went on, the kids came back to tie it up in the second half of the game for a final score of 3 to 3. The kids might say they scored four goals, but it was too hard to tell from where I was standing on the field. A tie sounds good to me.

For me, the soccer experience for my children relates to how my dad approached sports with me when I was growing up. My father told me that he wanted me to try as many sports as possible so I could figure out which ones I liked the most. I played football, basketball, baseball and soccer, and by high school I gravitated toward soccer and track. I liked the other sports, too, but soccer really captured my interest.

Today, I try to guide my children the same way my father guided me.

Our children are not going to be playing soccer in high school in Fillmore County in my lifetime. The student populations could never support it, and it could draw students away from other sports. I’ve had parents ask me if we should try to get soccer going in our schools, and I just wouldn’t recommend it at this time. It is a fall sport, and we already struggle a bit to cover many of our current sports.

To me, I just want my children exposed to another sport such as soccer in case they want to play for recreation later on in life.

Yes, time is flying by and 51 will be here before I know it. I look forward to getting to know all of the parents of the Class of 2025 (and 2023) as we rush to soccer, t-ball, football, swimming lessons, and everything else that keeps our mini-vans on the road. As our kids grow up together, in a way, so do we – the parents.

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