When the Christmas rush is over and the presents and decorations are put away, Adel resident Julie Ireland sets her sights on straightening out the garage. “I always hope for a January thaw. The warmer weather makes it a lot easier to tackle projects out there,” she explains. “I start getting ‘spring fever’ and my family’s and my thoughts turn to soccer!”
Julie and her husband Matt have been blessed with three very active children, all soccer players (sadly, 15 year old Mitchell has been out for a season due to injuries). Daughter Mackenzie is 12 and youngest son, Austin (pictured), is 7. Like so many other families, theirs is committed to the time and effort that soccer season requires. According to Julie, “Adel is a great place for soccer. It’s truly a community effort, somewhat like an extended family. We try to have an open line of communication with each other, providing for car pools and other assists when needed.”
Of course, the kids are competitive and their hope is to win as many games as possible, but they also learn to be “good sports.” “The coaches stress ‘good sportsmanship lessons’ and are careful to find these teachable moments in each game,” Julie says. “If they miss something, my husband Matt and I pick up the slack. It’s very important to us that our kids behave like good citizens.”
Soccer season is in both spring and fall, complete with team picnics and end of the season “parents vs. kids” games. As Julie tells it, “ Matt played as a youth but I was never given the opportunity. I guess girls didn’t play much in those days, but I sure wanted to! Now, as an adult, I love to play and, I have to admit, I play my heart out!” The teams have a sign up sheet for these fun games and also for all of the goodies that go along with having a huge picnic. Sometimes they have the “big day” out at one of the coach’s farms, complete with a lake for swimming and lots of trees for climbing.
Don’t let the winter blues get to you… instead, try dreaming of a lush, green soccer field.