Alumni games are tribute to '03 Foothill grad Ryan Gordon
High schools face off on soccer field to run money for programs
Graduates of Foothill and Amador Valley high schools met Jan. 9 for the ninth year at Foothill High for the Ryan Gordon Alumni Games. Ryan was a 2003 graduate of Foothill killed in a Jet Ski accident shortly after graduation. He had planned on attending Santa Barbara City College and to play soccer there.
The alumni games were played under warm (for January) clear skies before an excited, supportive crowd. The games featured men and women players from the '70s, '80s, '90s, 2000s and 2010s. This year featured 65 players, 43 men and 22 women, many of them returnees from prior years.
The most "veteran" player was Dion "Butch" Hock, who played for Foothill in 1978. Players from the '80s included Susan Hart (1983), Alicia and Sean Lemoine (1988), Ann Peterson (1981), Craig Caponigro (1988), Stuart "Brad" Googins (1987), Steven Voking (1986), Robert Gilliam (1987), Scott Berglin (1987), Ken Farro (1981), Curt Cox (1988) and Tony Chavaria (1983).
All monies raised are donated to the men's and women's soccer programs at the two High Schools. This year's games raised nearly $6,000, bringing the total since 2003 to over $55,000.
The first game saw Amador end the Foothill women's winning streak at four games. The score had Amador on top, 2-1. Foothill does have some bragging rights as several of the Amador players were on "loan" from the Foothill side and Amador's go-ahead goal was actually scored by one of the loaned players. Foothill still leads the series, having won 6 of the 9 games. Jillian Sweetnam (2006) scored first for Foothill and then Julie (Milton) Solano (1993) with an assist from Kristina (Scott) Demarest (1990) tied it up for Amador. Julie Pin (2006), on loan from Foothill, scored the deciding goal.
The men's side saw Foothill getting by Amador, 2-1. Amador still dominates the series though, having won 7 of the 9 games played so far. George Mayer (2009) from Amador opened up the scoring with an unassisted goal. Late in the game Foothill tied it up with an unassisted goal from Boomer Cruz (2006). The game eventually was decided on penalty kicks with Boomer Cruz and Vincent Pascual (2001) converting. Curt Cox (1988) scored for Amador.
Many friends of Ryan were also in attendance. Additionally there were 15 ex-teammates of Ryan's playing in the games.
Volunteers manned the snack bar, collected tickets, announced the action and refereed the games.
The Hop Yard Alehouse and All Star Sports both contributed to the cause.
Each winning team was provided with a trophy that travels back and forth to each year's winning high school. Next year's games will be at Amador as the venue changes from Amador to Foothill and back each year.