Anyone who knows me knows that one of the best places to find me is on the soccer fields of Tonawanda. Soccer isn't something that I ever grew up playing, aside from after school at the Boys and Girls Club. About the time my oldest daughter turned 5, she started playing soccer and little did I know what a journey that would take us on. At the beginning I was quite content to sit on the sidelines and watch her play (goalie no less). I can remember the feeling when she made her first save - directly off of her face - then looked over at my wife and I on the sidelines and just smiled. UGH! Kids! Watching from the side was exactly where I was when I received a phone call asking her to play travel soccer. After she said yes to that, the response was "Great, will you help coach?" "Sure." Was my not so immediate response. In my head I was immediately apprehensive about what I just agreed to. I had never played soccer, never coached a sports team (not including fantasy football!) But what I knew was that I would do what ever it took to make sure the girls learned to play, be good sportsmen, and most of all have fun. I don't believe one could watch more YouTube videos on coaching, learning soccer drills, strategy, etc. I read more coaching books than I care to admit. We looked SPECTACULAR in practice! Then we got to our first game. I don't remember the score but it was pitiful. It was something in the neighborhood of 15-0. We were playing an age group older than we were and this is how our entire season went. Were the girls upset? You betcha. But they never stopped coming to practice, never stopped trying in games, never quit. So we practiced and practiced some more and got the same results for that whole season and most of the next. The thing that shocked me was that not one girl quit the team, and we actually had more girls join. This is the beginning of my 6th year coaching and we have had 3 very successful seasons. Winning, scoring, and most importantly, being sportswomen, and knowing how to win and lose with grace.
Last season, we finished one goal short of first place. Most of the girls from the team are playing for school and watching them from the sideline as a parent, friend and coach has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Seeing where they were a few short years ago, and seeing them succeed at the levels they are now is a feeling that can't be described. I often joke with the girls that I don't just have 2 daughters, I have 22. We support and go to bat for each other and it's amazing.
In conclusion, this is all just a metaphor for how I plan to work for the residents of the 4th ward of Tonawanda when I'm elected. There may be some up's and down's, some wins and some losses, arguments and successes, but through it all if we persevere, we will come out the other side wiser for our mistakes and richer for our successes.
I just returned from canvassing Morgan, Wheeler and Broad streets tonight (really I'm scoping out the best spots for candy next week!) It was great to meet the residents and briefly speak with everyone! Back in the summer, I half joked with my wife that when we went out during election season I was going to carry dog biscuits because it seems as though every other house has at least one dog. This has held true all the way into the fall - I can not believe how many dog owners we have in our city. Why not investigate putting in a dog park in the city? Our four legged residents need a place to relax too! Maybe something to consider as we move forward and, yes, Mr. Bodie, I'm going to get that trash can you requested!
Have a great night all - stay dry tomorrow - and see you all at the debate on Thursday. If you can't make it, please tune in on the Tonawanda City Community Facebook page from 6:30-8
Here we are just over 2 weeks to go until the election and the whirl wind continues! On Thursday this week we will be having a candidates forum/debate at City hall beginning at 6:30. As with everything else, there does seem to be a little rumor and conjecture going around but as of press time, and using the information that is being provided to me, the Republican candidates won't be participating. I am not sure the reasons, but feel that it is a shame they won't be coming as the voters should hear both sides platforms and their plans for the city and wards. The debate will be streamed live on Facebook on the Tonawanda City Community page for those who are interested. I believe that the format will allow for questions from cyberspace as well (not positive though). If you'd like to have a question considered, please contact Joe Genco on Facebook and submit your question!
Check back often to see what's going on as I walk the trail!