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Matt Scott (left) and Alex Daley are two of the three individuals who completed the more than 400 mile long Dribble Across Minnesota journey beginning May 26 in International Falls, Minn. and ending June 18 in Granger, Minn. Tommy Hanlon (not pictured) was also part of the excursion. Photo by Mitchell Walbridge
The question stuck with Alex Daley and his friends Matt Scott and Tommy Hanlon who just completed a more than 400 mile trek dribbling a soccer ball from the northern to southern border of Minnesota. Daley, Scott and Hanlon are all graduates of Eagan High School.
The three friends traveled by foot from International Falls, Minn. to Granger, Minn. Their continuing mission is to raise money to improve urban decay within inner cities by creating soccer fields, urban gardens and other recreational green space. Daley hopes that the sport of soccer can bring people together by breaking down social barriers and bridge the gap between the ethnically diverse.
The three began their journey on Sunday, May 26 and concluded on June 18. Each typical day ranged from four to seven hours of travel, racking up distances of more than 20 miles per day. “We’ve experienced a lot,” said Daley, “Everything from rain and thunderstorms, heavy traffic, lots of snakes, ticks, and we’ve been chased by quite a few dogs.” The group faced these challenges and continued on their way, pushing forward through obstacles.
Daley, Scott and Hanlon have also received a fair share of encouragement as well. They’ve made new acquaintances along the way giving them support as they’ve taken in the varying Minnesota countryside and terrain.
A lot of people have asked questions about this challenge. They’ve been asked flat-out, ‘How do you do it?’ countless times. “We’re completely self-sustainable,” Daley explained, “We’ve got a support vehicle equipped with everything we need: a tent, grill, and a five-gallon container of water that is constantly refilled daily.” The 400 mile excursion is far from luxurious; part of the experience includes often having to bathe in nearby rivers.
A soccer ball has been kicked the entire way, symbolizing how important soccer is to this initiative. Also, one of the three is usually carrying a large American flag the entire way.
Daley studied business and political science at the University of St. Thomas located in St. Paul. Scott also attended the University of St. Thomas. Both have made a difference on their college campus by initiating the St. Thomas Futbol Club in the spring of 2012. The club now has more than 150 active participants.
Daley’s registered non-profit, “Dribble Daily,” has made an international outreach, especially in Pokhara, Nepal. The non-profit organization works with several sponsors to fulfill its projects. If you’d like to donate, learn more about “Dribble Daily,” or watch the chronicled video of some of their projects, visit www.dribbledaily.org.
The text message question is still in Daley’s mind. It’s not out of the question to dribble across the United States, but for now Daley, Scott, and Hanlon will enjoy their successful journey across Minnesota, all while supporting a great cause and making a difference.
Alex Daley is the grandson of Gerrie Daley of Preston, Minn. and the late Pete Daley.