I joined the Idaho Rush Soccer club going into my U14 season, and I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions of my life. Not only did I meet lifelong friends, but I also learned valuable life lessons that I couldn’t of learned anywhere else. Idaho Rush is more than just a soccer club, it’s a family.
I’ve had my fair share of triumphs and defeats. In my lifetime I’ve had five second-place finishes in State Cup, while I’ve won only three. But the defeats taught me more than the victories ever did, and I grew as a person more after each and every loss. My coaches always told me to prepare for the next season with even more energy and hard work, and I always did. I use this in every aspect of my life now, knowing that life is not about how many times you get knocked down, it’s about how many times you get up. But there is another side that often gets overlooked, and that’s winning with dignity. My coaches and parents always told me that it was more important to win with class than to lose with class. That’s something that has stuck with me my entire life, and it’s something that I will never forget.
The core of my team remained together throughout my entire playing career, and I’m really thankful for that. Those guys are some of my best friends, and will be for the rest of my life. These are the guys that stuck it out with me through thick and thin, and were always by my side whenever I needed, both off and on the field. These friendships will never end, no matter what happens in any of our lives. They’re basically all my brothers. Also, Shaun Dunn did a lot for me both as a player, and a person. He was my coach for three years and I can honestly say I learned more from him than I did any other coach in my life. He taught me how to be a leader, how to win, and most importantly he taught me how to be man. I will always keep in touch with Shaun, and I have the utmost respect and gratitude for him.
However, the best part about playing for Idaho Rush was being able to play with the younger kids and teach them the game I love. We would have practices where we played with our younger players, and those were always the best practices. Those kids looked up to us with such admiration, and it was truly a blessing to know we had kids looking up to us, and that we could play with them and teach them to become better players and better teammates, and to know that they will pass on the values that my coaches taught to me for many Rush generations to come.