PREP BEAT

MIKE NIETO: More than a soccer match

2012-04-20T21:45:00Z 2014-04-07T22:10:21Z MIKE NIETO: More than a soccer matchBy Mike Nieto Prep Beat nwitimes.com
April 20, 2012 9:45 pm  • 

If you have a chance to attend Monday's Grant Park at Beecher girls soccer match, please do.

It should be a good match, but the match is special not because any conference lead or bragging rights are at stake.

The Beecher girls soccer team is making this a fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project and all proceeds from admission and concessions will be donated to this project.

The Wounded Warriors Project does a lot — and that is an understatement — to help soldiers and their families as well as veterans. It can be anything from providing support for those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to helping purchase a prosthetic.

We all know someone who has done a tour of duty. If you have children in their 20s, either they or a friend or relative has served our country and has helped protect our freedom. Beecher coach Dawn Compton said it was all of her team's idea. You may have had a parent serve in World War II, or in Korea or Vietnam, or in Iraq in the 1990s.

"They wanted to do something and I asked them to come up with a cause," Compton said. "They chose this and I think it is as good of a cause as any."

The Beecher boys program has done a "pink game" the last four years and Compton was touched because her grandmother is a cancer survivor.

The Beecher players will dress in camouflage jerseys. Compton has a friend at a local sporting goods store who helped with getting the jerseys. The admission is $3 and there will be concessions. Again, all monies go to the cause. A lot of parents and friends are donating their time and food to make this a success.

There will be military members in attendance as well as parents of those who cannot attend because they are busy serving our country.

"We have a lot of Beecher grads who are in the service, so this does make it special," Compton said. "We will honor any military member, past or present, at halftime. We should have a few alumni coming back."

What the Beecher girls are learning is more than how to push a ball up the field or how to defend. It is a great thing that these young ladies would do something to help others. They are definitely learning more than what they see in text books.

"I want our kids to come away from my program with more than just knowing how to play soccer," Compton said. "We want them involved in the community and we want them to learn how to be future leaders in the community."

This column is solely the writer's opinion. Reach him at mike.nieto@nwi.com.

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