Seattle Youth Soccer Association
Hall of Legends
This page honors those whose service and dedication to the the association, its clubs, and its players, have been recognized by their peers as worthy of Hall of Legends recognition. The individuals on this page have made contributions whose duration and impact has had a profound effect on the familes and volunteers in SYSA. Legends must be nominated and approved by vote of the SYSA Board of Commissioners. We thank those who have come before us in creating and building the great soccer experience of SYSA.
Kathie Keil Crozier
Walter Schmetzer, Sr
Coming Full Circle in SYSA
An Open Letter By Jason Farrell
Seattle United Technical Director
In typical Seattle soccer fashion, my soccer journey began in 1975 on a cold, rainy day at North City Elementary School. I was 4 years old at the time and was representing the Lake City Soccer Club in my first of (too) many soccer games. There was no mod soccer at the time. It was 11v11 in "those days" and we loved every minute of it. While we ended up losing pretty badly that day (what do you expect when you have a 4 year old playing?), I do remember scoring my first ever goal, a perfectly executed penalty kick in the upper left corner. When my mother recounts that fateful day, she doesn't necessarily remember the goal being quite as glorious as I do, but she does like to tell folks how, although only 4 years old, I was constantly recommending personnel and tactical changes to our very experienced coach, Terry Sheehan, for the duration of the game. Apparently, a coach was already in the making.
My family was a typical SYSA family. Our household, at one time or another, had players playing in Lake City, LVR, Hillwood, Shorelake and the "old" Seattle United. We all played, my father coached and, as it turns out, my mother was a club treasurer for many years. In those days, every family seemed to be fully emerged in the club culture, even before "club culture" was a desirable club characteristic.
I was awarded the SYSA Girls Competitive Coach of the Year on April 7th at SYSA's 2012 Annual General Meeting. It's crazy to think that, at the ripe old age of 28 (oh, alright…41), my soccer journey has brought me back full circle to where it all started. I was proud to have received the award from Duncan Munro, outgoing president and someone I respect very much as an administrator, an official and a coach (I'm always amazed at the multiple hats these great SYSA folks seem to wear). I was proud to have been given the award in a year that other fine soccer coaches were recognized, including Shawn Tucker and Seattle United's own Gary Harris. My only regret of the day was Gary not showing up in a suit and tie, despite my continued efforts to tell him it was a black tie affair (insert smiley face here).
As fortunate as I am to be in the same company as my fellow award winners, I was most proud to be sitting amongst the SYSA Legends that were in the same room, some of them being honored posthumously this year. SYSA defines a Legend as "a person who has made a profound impact on the association and its members, both in terms of their length of service and their impact on the soccer experience of our youth athletes." To see so many of these great people show up on the Saturday before Easter, on the most beautiful day of the year, was a testament to how much they loved being involved and a testament to SYSA for creating an award that honors these great people.
There were many Legends of the past that I had the great pleasure of playing for, working with or just knowing by virtue of growing up in an SYSA family. I was coached by Mike Mikkelson and Bill Muller, my brother was coached by Walter Schmetzer (and my family continues to shop at the family business), I always WANTED to play for Mike Ryan, I played with Rod Falor's son, I have coached Harry Hoffman's daughter and I have worked with Phoebe Russell, Marlin Ayotte and Rick Crudo. Once you are in the SYSA family, you are always in the SYSA family (in a good way!).
I was very humbled to have been there for the awarding of this year's Legends awards. All of the winners are more than deserving, but I was especially touched by the presentations of Neil Callahan and Jim Locke, both receiving the awards posthumously. While I never had the fortune to meet Neil, I still see is legacy on a daily basis on soccer fields all over Seattle. Jim and my father were friends and I played soccer with his son Jason when we were young. In speaking with Jason after the ceremony, he informed me that he currently lives in Sacramento with his family but thought it important to be there for the presentation. That is how much soccer and SYSA meant to not only his father, but to his whole family. THAT IS SYSA.
Now that I am back at SYSA working for Seattle United, I feel very proud to be part of an organization that not only embraces and honors its past, but also continues to find ways to look to, and prepare for, the future.
Perhaps the most poignant memory from the awards ceremony was derived from the young man sitting (at times patiently) to my left. In a room full of fine folks that have literally given their lives to the sport we all love so much, that have worked for years and years to ensure that the "soccer experience of our youth athletes" is an impactful one, my four year old son…a member of SYSA's next generation…is just beginning his journey. As he will be growing up in the SYSA family, I know he is in good hands.