Soccer's two seasons in Utah are unpredictable and ever changing. The late summer/early fall season can range from high heat and endless sun to cold rain and at times even snow. The spring season has a similar range only in reverse. Shade is the best antidote to sunny games. My shield of choice from the rays of the sun is a growing collection of wide brim hats--which also help to protect me from another occurrence of melanoma. Marie is never without her large standing umbrella. While hats and umbrellas help, they can't beat the shade from trees. For soccer parents, tree lined fields are a god send.
Three years ago, Joel completed all of the requirements for an Eagle Scout award, except an eagle project. Since then an eagle project has always loomed on a vague list of import things to do sometime before turning 18. Joel had a few ideas for a project and his parents did too, but none thrilled him. One of my early suggestions was to plant shade trees on the west side of Ira Allen park in Mapleton where the Utah Storm soccer club holds many of its home games. Earlier this year with the 18th birthday only months away, Joel decided that planting trees was maybe not such a bad idea and was something doable before October 13th. He contacted Mapleton Parks and Recreation and they gave the go ahead. But then soccer season and a job and calculus and senior year activities all got in the way. Before he knew it there was not enough time to fill out all the forms, get the project approved and then raise the money and buy and plant the trees. When push came to shove, Joel decided he was not that motivated to do all of the Eagle Project paper work, but he was motivated to plant some trees. So he set up a Go Fund Me account which raised over $1,000, went with his dad to buy nine trees at Cook's Greenhouse in Orem (thanks for the 20% discount), and then recruited friends and family to come and help plant the trees.
Saturday November 3 was the day for planting. Joel and I borrowed a truck from Uncle Jim (a member of the Mapleton City Council) which we then drove to Cook's Nursery in Orem to pick up the nine trees. We were joined at Ira Allen Park by several families from our neighborhood (Joel had helped their scouts with Eagle and non-Eagle projects in he past) and some friends of Joel's from school. Providing special help digging the holes was Mike Cutler, Joel's former Utah Storm soccer coach. We started unloading and hole digging at 3:30 and were done by 4:45. The only thing left to do is put in the support posts and tie up the trees.
And now a few photos of Joel and Will from the Fall season of Shooter and Storm soccer playing. It was Joel's final season of Club Soccer. The end of an era.