Authors: Jerry McGinley
* * *
Three years after the battle with Lakeshore, new faces and personalities fill the green and white soccer uniforms. New stories are emerging, and even though the original cast of characters have drifted off in different directions, the impact of that first season will live with them forever.
Though he never received a college scholarship, Joaquin Lopez is currently the starting center forward on the varsity soccer team at a small state university in northern Wisconsin. He plans to major in Public Relations or Social Work.
Kari and Meta gave up competitive organized soccer and now play in the city recreation league in Madison where they both attend a local technical college. Kari coaches an under-eight youth team on weekends, and Meta works part-time as a referee.
Catherine (Cocoa) Mareno was the first girl in Wisconsin history to receive all-state recognition on a boys' athletic team. She was named to the second team All-Wisconsin soccer team as a senior. She currently attends the University of North Carolina where she is a second string midfielder on the defending NCCA national championship team. She is working toward a degree in Chemical Engineering.
Julio Rodriguez retired from soccer after his one-year stint as a high school senior. Currently attending the University of Wisconsin, he is a member of the track team and a sports writer for the university newspaper.
After attending high school summer session and one additional semester, Monte Rose received his diploma. He moved to Chicago where he is back-up goalie on a semi-pro team. In his spare time he works as a disk jockey for dances and weddings.
Buzzy Budzinski retired from the Willowdale School District after two years of coaching and over twenty years as a custodian. His players gave him a farewell party that was attended by half of the people in town. He and his wife Martha spend most of their time at their lake cottage. Buzzy's living room wall displays two prominent pictures: one is a glossy shot of the six-pound bass he caught on Willow Lake, and the other is a photograph of Coach Budzinski and the Willowdale soccer team.
Jessica Logan, who never played soccer after her freshman year, attends a small state university in northern Wisconsin. She is majoring in veterinary science and works as a volunteer at the local Humane Society. She never misses a varsity soccer match.
The Lopez family still lives on the small farmette outside of Willowdale. Miguel has been promoted to Computer Supervisor. Maria is active in the 4-H program and has won numerous ribbons at horse shows. Louisa now works as an aide in the elementary school library.
Mr. Tobias has recently taken a new position as Superintendent of Schools for the Willowdale School District.
After numerous complaints from players and parents, Coach Leon Sommers was relieved of all his coaching duties by the Lakeshore School Board. He is currently looking for work.
â THE END â
Jerry McGinley was awarded the Kohl Educational Excellence Fellowship and the Jarvis Bush Award for Excellence in Teaching Writing (Wisconsin Council of Teachers of English), and recognized as “One of the Top 100 Most Inspiring Teachers in the United States” by
A Goal for Joaquin
is also available
in audiobook format (full theatrical
production) from The Fiction Works.