Back in the early 1970s, I played soccer at Harriton High School as well as at Gladwyne Soccer Club, helping the Gladwyne Rams
win the Delco Soccer League's Under 19 league in 1974. We had a very talented team with Pete Kellogg and Scott Addis both going
on to play at Princeton, Woody VanderVeur at Villanova and Jay Rogers at Susquehanna. I wound up playing at Hobart College.
From 1974-1979, I was a camp counselor at Camp Tecumseh in New Hampshire,
a great athletic camp where I was a camper for six years before that. Tecumseh specializes in a wide range of outdoor sports.
It was there that I began to enjoy coaching.
Being on soccer fields was very important to me. I grew up in an extremely dysfunctional family. Both of my parents were alcoholics.
When my father would drink, he would get nasty and then withdraw from his family. In addition to my mother's battle with alcohol,
she was also bipolar and sometimes delusional. When I was on a soccer field, or any athletic field, I was happy and free from the
problems of the world. I always loved competing in sports and being involved in sports. It was my sanctuary. In high school,
I ran the Penn Valley Street Hockey League which had about eight teams comprised of local area students from Harriton and other
local schools. I also played lacrosse at Harriton. Anything to do with athletics took my mind away from my very sad and disturbing home life.
In early 1973, my mother tried to commit suicide by overdosing on sleeping pills and drinking huge amounts of alcohol.
My mother was rushed to the hospital that morning. I was devastated by this event. To escape the pain of this event,
I decided I would just go out and play in my Gladwyne Soccer Under 19 game that afternoon, not telling my teammates what
happened and not knowing if my mom would survive. I scored the winning goal that game and then came home to find my mom was
still alive and going to survive. To this day I don't know why I elected to go and play in that game. I guess that at the time,
the soccer field was a place to hide from the difficulties of my world and on that day, I really needed a place to hide.
The other great escape I had from my horrendous family life was spending each summer up at Camp Tecumseh. I was fortunate that my dad
had a well paying job and that my parents would let me go away to camp in New Hampshire all summer. Being away for seven weeks to live
with a great group of people who liked athletics was a very important part of my growing up.
As a teenager, three of my most favorite things in the world were playing soccer at Harriton, playing for Gladwyne Soccer Club and
going away every summer to Camp Tecumseh. It is no wonder that many years later I would become the head soccer coach at Harriton,
the President of Lower Merion Soccer Club (formerly Gladwyne Soccer) and serve six years on the Board of Trustees at Camp Tecumseh.