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Photo by Haley Bell
Jim and Dixie Kelly sit in the stands and support their son, Jamie, at his soccer games. They’ve been to just about every match of the coach’s soccer career except for the state tournament, where they were out of town for a wedding.
Jamie has coached girl’s and boy’s soccer for 15 years, and his parents have supported him and every team he’s ever coached.
“They just like to sit in the stands as any regular soccer parent,” Jamie said. “I am so thankful that they care so much to support me and give me a hug after every game, win or lose.”
Jim and Dixie put Jamie on a soccer team when he was seven years old because they didn’t want to risk the injuries that come with other sports like football. After 17 years of playing, Jim and Dixie recognized Jamie’s passion for the game.
“We just have always tried to support [Jamie] in everything he does,” Jim said. “All [Dixie and I] want is for him to to what he loves.”
According to SME alumnus and former girl’s soccer player Georgia Weigel, Jamie’s parents have become just as much a part of the team as any of the players. After every game, Weigel would run up to Jim and Dixie and give them a hug. Weigel formed a close bond with Jim and Dixie.
“I never knew their first names,” Weigel said. “I just called them Grandma and Grandpa.”
According to Weigel, no matter the circumstance, Grandma is at every home game and most away games depending on how far away each game is.
“[Jim and I] love watching the game,” Dixie said. “We love watching the kids and have a great deal of fun.”
Throughout Jamie’s coaching career, his parents have been a major support system. The support that Jim and Dixie give the program brings joy to both the girl’s and boy’s teams.
“You have to understand that they are GREAT people,” Weigel said. “Just interacting with them makes you happy.”