By James Matson
We get a lot of satisfaction in serving the NCAA DIII soccer community throughout the season. On Thanksgiving, it is appropriate to share that we are thankful to be part of that community, and appreciate all the relationships that we've enjoyed over the years of "playing in this field".
Considering this past year and all the stress that comes with things like career issues, health struggles, and even weather, we offer a light-hearted but sincere list of what we are thankful for at D3soccer.com.
Our experience at NCAA DIII programs
Chris Shirk and I are thankful for our experiences at Messiah College and Wheaton College (the one in Illinois). Those great college experiences as well as our love of soccer give us the passion that drives D3soccer.com.
The Student Athletes - the performers
These young men and women contrinue to do what they've always done; win on and off the field. They balance a commitment to soccer through daily practice and weekly competition, and an equal commitment to academic excellence through study, class attendence, and success. We are proud of these student/athletes as they impress us through their skill on the pitch and their success in the classroom.
The fans - former players, family, and fans (not all of us were good enough to play!)
Fans of Division III soccer are why this site exists. We really enjoy hearing from former players through the message boards and e-mail, as their passion and experience is important to the site. We also love the the passion of those grads who love the game, but could only get a spot on the intramural team!
Coaches who care
We are thankful for the coaching community and the commitment that we see in each coach to his or her team. An incredible amount of mentoring and teaching is done on the pitch every day across the country, and it is not always just about soccer. We are thankful for those professionals who invest so much of themselves in the student/athletes.
Our Top 25 voters
We are thankful for that small group of coaches and SIDs who take precious time every week to look at the national soccer scene and share their opinions with us - and with you. We know that many of you look forward to our weekly poll, and we couldn't do it without our voters.
Pat Coleman and the D3sports.com family
We are thankful that Pat Coleman, the founder of D3sports.com, had a vision for a series of website that would serve the fans of Division III athletics. After starting with D3hoops.com, Pat continues to grow the family. Without Pat's support and expertise, we never would been able to get this site off the gound. And the support and commitment to excellence continues. Thanks Pat!
...and last, but not in any way the least, the Sports Information Directors
How could any of us gather all the information we need to cover DIII soccer without the hard work of the college SID? We couldn't and that's why we are thankful for them. The hours they spend setting up the matches, gathering the stats, doing the writing, and then getting all this information out to those who care is a ton of work. We are thankful for the DIII Sports Information Directors.
If it has been too long since you talked with your coach, or if you've never thanked your school's SID, why not take a minute and share your thanks with them?
For all of you who follow soccer through our work at D3soccer.com, we are thankful for you hanging with us, your readership, and your comments. Have a great Thanksgiving!
Comments or feedback for the author? Email James Matson.