Thursday, September 28, 2000

Every Sunday since April, and for the past several years, the Midwest Soccer League has scheduled games for adult Hispanic men from Northwest Iowa. This year the league included new teams from Fort Dodge, and our team from Humboldt. I know all of the players from Humboldt have looked forward to every Sunday as the day of the week when we can shake off the work week and enjoy 'the beautiful game.'

If we were to total up the recreational man hours that Jaime has given the community the result would be astounding. In fact, given that the league played 22 weeks with 12 teams, plus the playoffs, a conservative estimate would be 8,000 man hours of soccer.

That's 8,000 hours of recreation that wouldn't exist without the hardwork and dedication of Jaime Quintanilla, his fellow referees and everyone else involved in organizing and supporting the Midwest Soccer League. And that count doesn't include the friends and family who have spent their Sundays this summer cheering on the local teams. Our state is full of people who decry the lack of recreational opportunities in Iowa. Here is a man, though, who instead of complaining has done something for the community.

Also, a special thanks to Jaime's family who must wonder why he puts up with all of the abuse soccer referees must endure, he puts in the hours of organization needed, and he keeps coming back every year for more. Personally, I know he must have a love and passion for soccer, but he also must see the need in the community.

I think they call people like this "visionaries," even if they 'just' organize a soccer league.

Joe Hadar

Humboldt Gatoferos