Most reunions involve one or more families or sets of relatives gathering annually at one spot to see each other, catch on the latest events, and usually consuming large amounts of food and beverage. Sometimes sporting events are associated with the reunion as well. Last Saturday, another kind of reunion was held, and the emphasis was on sports.
Mike Myers, the coach of the Greensburg High School soccer girls, held a scrimmage last year between the alumni of the team and the current varsity players. It was so popular with the players that he decided to make it an annual event. This year an extra effort was made to contact more of the alumni, and the result was an entertaining evening of soccer and new and renewed introductions by the players of the past with the current competitors.
Nine alumni showed up. They were Lorelei Connor Cleary, Karen Spitler Coon, and Rachel Connor Nelson, all of whom played on the first team ever. Karen and Rachel also played on the team in the third year of its existence when the team was lead to its only record by the Norwegian exchange student, Linn Rolstad. The other six were Samantha (Sammy) Rivera, Sabrina McCullough, Kelsey Hayes, Alexis Bailey, Bree Newman, and Kayanna Wolter, most of which had graduated in the last four years.
Seeing that the alums were down two players, the assistant coach, Julie Bailey, as well as future alum, Emma Hellmich, joined the effort as well. “Coaching” the team was Mike Connor.
Fifteen players were on the varsity squad, and William Wettering led the contingent of referees consisting of Joe Buening and Gary Bailey. The game commenced on a wonderfully cool sunny evening, and it was a close contest for the first half. While the youngsters drew first blood with a score by Morgan Stagge midway through the half, the alums quickly answered with an Alexis Bailey free kick that scored the equalizer. For one brief moment, the alums in the blue jerseys had hopes for a victory when Julie Bailey scored an apparent goal that was nullified by an offside call. At halftime, the alums were pleased to be tied at 1-1, and the varsity was admiring how well the alums were playing.
In the second half, the pace of the varsity picked up and the alums slowed down as the stress of playing 80 minutes with only the half time break began to show. Five unanswered goals spread throughout the second half resulted in the 6-1 final score.
Michaela Myers put the varsity on top for good just 10 minutes into the second half. Maddi Hellmich added a pair of second-half goals, while Stagge chipped in her second of the game. Kasey Moeller ended the scoring with the sixth goal for the white team.
Afterwards, the teams shook hands and the players on both sides conversed about different aspects of the game. The game was not really about winning or losing, but rather a gathering of a different kind of family. This was not a family of relatives, but a family who was brought together for the love of one game - soccer. It was a beautiful night for the “beautiful” game.
More photos, along with team pics, will be published in Thursday’s print edition.