Soccer in Ethan’s Memory – Sunday, Oct 3

In honor of Ethan, we will have a Sunday Soccer event this week (Sunday, Oct. 3) from 1 to 2:30 PM at Matthews Park. ALL ages and ALL abilities are invited to join. Musical instruments and players are also welcome to provide accompaniment to the game!

Ethan and Xena came running across the street and into my life when they joined our kids and families pick-up soccer game at Seward’s Matthews Park one Sunday. Their enthusiasm helped make those gatherings especially fun, and Ethan’s soccer knowledge helped us all develop our skills.

Many of the girls at “Sunday Soccer” play on a Matthews Park girls’ soccer team that Ethan and Xena came to support as fans and as occasional guest coaches. Two of the players (Maddy and Chiara) knew Ethan particularly well.

On the Tuesday that Ethan died, the team wildly celebrated its first-ever victory in three seasons. Most of the players were not aware of Ethan and Xena’s tragedy until after the game. That night a few attended a neighborhood vigil where one player placed a soccer ball amid the candles in Ethan’s memory.

At the next night’s practice, the team enthusiastically dedicated its historic win to Ethan. Chiara shared stories about Ethan, including two of his soccer tips:

  • If you’re afraid of the ball coming at you, turn and use your butt to stop it
  • when all else fails with an opponent, “act weird”

The team continues to think of Ethan every time it does a drill that Ethan taught us. His photo is on the team’s website.

I am holding Ethan and Xena and their marvelous communities in my heart and mind.


Ethan Johnson