I picked up soccer (along with my daughter, Alexandra) while teaching in Bogota, Colombia in the 70’s. Came back and coached my twin daughters, Adriann and Erin, (born right after we adopted Alex – two to five in a year!), and several other young ladies for 11 years on a club team. The one with the best leg (kick) was Kate Knickerbocker. She was a very pretty, respectful, bright blond who looked so sweet…until she got on the soccer field.
One day, when she was 13, for some reason I had to drive her home from a tournament. We had the greatest conversation. The best conversation I’ve ever had with “a kid”…so pretty and pretty darn smart. I coached Kate from 13 to 24. She was not the best player, but probably my favorite. She played a tough position – stopper. Right in the midst of the action. Basically her job was to slow or stop the other team whenever they got the notion they were “attacking,” frequently steal the ball, and distribute it to one her teammates. Deceptively tough, dependable. Never complained. Always respectful and supportive of her team…and coach.
Kate went to college, played soccer there, got a law degree, married a great guy, had three kids, and got brain cancer. This may sound like it turned into a “downer,” but, really, not so. Kate lived life the way we all should. She remained beautiful, positive, happy, tough…never complained. Always an angel. Still is…I’d bet my life on it.