AYSO alum Cole Koeppen played his last AYSO game for Region 112 in East Central Iowa on Oct. 14, 2012. A few days later, he was deployed to Afghanistan to serve on his first tour in the U.S. Army.
While in Afghanistan, Cole sent the following message to his Region’s Referee Administrator:
“…Now I am currently serving a tour of duty in Afghanistan, but I want to be an assistant ref when I come back home sometime in the late summer or early fall. I was wondering if there is anything I can do or anything I can study while I'm over here that will help me learn to be a referee… I've played for AYSO ever since I was 7 years old, and I miss going there on the weekends so that's also why I would like to help be a ref/assistant ref.”
When asked what inspired him to want to become an AYSO referee, Cole responded:
“First off, playing as an AYSO player was definitely one of the greatest experiences I have ever had. It was my first soccer league I've ever played for…There's a lot more that goes into it, but one of the biggest reasons why I would like to be a ref/assistant ref is because AYSO gave me something to look forward to every game, every weekend, every season.
“It gave me a reason to get outside and participate in something fun, and because of that, I grew such a strong passion and love for the sport of soccer. I don't know what I'd be doing today if I hadn't signed up. My experience from AYSO gave me a lot. I made a lot of friends, met a lot of good people (parents, players, refs, etc) so I would like to give back by volunteering.”
How great is that? Thanks so much Cole! This is for all AYSO volunteers – it’s proof that what you do makes a huge difference in the lives of AYSO players everywhere!
Wish Cole well on AYSO's Facebook page.