Ten years ago, Bellmont celebrated a decade of varsity soccer. Now, the program is an adult and it's time for the 20-year reunion. The date is Aug. 24 when the Braves host Delta in a 10 a.m. contest at the Bellmont Soccer Stadium.
"I'd like to see a great turnout. I think that 10-year reunion was a huge success, and was the catalyst for that whole (sectional championship) season," stated the architect of Bellmont soccer, Dave Spaulding.
Though players from the past 10 seasons are encouraged to take part in the festivities, and story-telling, Spaulding hopes to see a lot of the men who grew with the program, them came back to celebrate with him in 2003.
The junior varsity game, if Delta brings a B team, would go at 10 a.m. and past players would be recognized between games in a special ceremony. If there is just one game, the ceremony will be held at halftime, according to current head coach, Jake Briede, who was a freshman on the 2003 squad.
Afterwards, there will be a get together, tentatively slated at the middle school gym. Former players, coaches and parents are encouraged to bring memorabilia to display, including pictures and other items.
"I remember Dave pushing us to that next level in 2003, and we went on to win Bellmont's second sectional title," said Briede, who was a standout Bellmonter who went on to play at St. Francis. This is Briede's second year as head coach for the Braves.
"Dave was a good coach who knew a lot about the sport and wasn't afraid to push us, to challenge us," offered Briede.
Briede certainly wouldn't mind if a big 20-year celebration inspires his team. This year's is a young team. "We have a really talented freshman and sophomore classes, and several will come in and get some quality playing time," said Briede, who played two years with Jamie Werling and then his last two years at St. Francis with BHS grad Sam Meyer.
"Our senior class is very dedicated and works hard to push the rest of the players. The junior class is solid. Things are looking bright for quite a while," described Briede.
Of course, getting the BHS soccer program to this point took some hard work, recruiting, some scrambling and a lot of faith in the process. Spaulding did that for the first 10 years of Bellmont soccer.
(Full story in today's edition)