Meridian Star

April 11, 2013

Soccer provides family bond

Tony Tsoukalas
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — In some ways, things are a lot different for Ron Reid and his daughter Harley. Some things, however, will never change.

    Reid has coached his daughter since she was four years old in the Meridian Youth Soccer Organization’s U5 league and now coaches Harley and the Meridian Storm in the Girls U7 league. The difference in play, is noticeable.

    “When we started, you’d see all the little girls, and they’d just be in a bee swarm around the ball,” Reid said. “There are no goalies and no method to the game. It was just, let’s go out and have fun, and if we kick it in a goal, whether it’s ours or the other team’s goal, it’s all fun.

    “Now, it has progressed to having goalies and positions and developing the attention span to hold that position. The girls have definitely come a long way.”

    The thing that won’t change is the bond formed by the two through soccer. Reid said his daughter shares the same outgoing personality he has, and the two often give each other a hard time back and forth during practice.

    However, the bond does have its trying moments. Reid said he remembers one infamous encounter when Harley and another little girl got into a scuffle on the field.

    “There is one story, and I almost hate to tell it,” Reid said hesitantly. “When she first started playing, they were in the little bee swarm chasing the ball around. This little girl kept kind of pushing Harley, pulling on her jersey and shoving her around.”

    “That’s when I punched her,” Harley interrupted her dad.

    Shrugging his shoulders, Reid shook his head and smiled.

    “We learned from that experience that we do not punch people on the soccer field.” Reid said.

    Hard situations like that are few and far to come by on the soccer field Reid said. Most of the time, the game allows him and his daughter to participate in something they love together.

    “Soccer is my favorite sport,” Harley said. “It’s just really fun running up and down and kicking.”

    Reid said the only hard part about coaching his daughter is finding ways to give every girl on the team the equal amount of attention.

    “I was afraid it would be hard to separate being a dad and being a coach,” Reid said. “But, the only thing that is hard to do is not show partiality towards your own child. That’s the hardest part in coaching my daughter is making sure everybody on the team gets the same amount of attention.”

    That process has become a lot easier over time, as Reid now finds he has more than one daughter on the field –– he has a whole team of them.

    “As time goes, you realize they are all like your own.” Reid said.