Everyday Heroes: Vancouver soccer family pulls together to harness their passions
For a Vancouver family, a passion for soccer – especially youth soccer – is nearly a life's calling for dad, mom and their daughter.
That passion includes a host of volunteer activities all the while juggling work, soccer practices and college courses.
Two days a week and most weekends, David Simons, his wife Angela and daughter Maggie can be found on the soccer pitch, or pitching-in.
“I work at night and I sleep in the morning and when I wake up I go coach the guys,” David Simons said. “And then I go to work again.
“It keeps me busy, it keeps me going. I stay busy, the guys keep me busy, they keep me going. So it’s pretty good.”
Simons began coaching the Pacific Football Club Real six years ago with boys born in 2013.
Rather than having a new coach each new season, Simons tried to keep all the boys together on the same team year after year.
“One thing that I wanted to see if I could do is if I could create a good foundation of players who could follow the whole way,” he said. “It’s impossible to do."
“I’ve lost players, they move on to different things, other sports, other teams. But you can get more players also and you just keep it going.”
Still, six players have been with him since age nine.
“The plan is to take them all the way up until they are 18, he said. “That’s when their club years will end. Hopefully we can go all the way.”
Angela Simons - she works days - enjoyed watching so much that she became team manager
“We’re all involved,” David Simons said. “It’s something that we love, we enjoy doing together.
It’s been great that we have something that we can do together as a family.”
Daughter Maggie is on a soccer scholarship with the Red Devils women's soccer team of Lower Columbia College in Longview, Washington.
Simons says she's been at his side helping coach since day one.
“Ever since I’ve been coaching the boys she’s always been there with me,” he said. “She has her own team but she’s always been there with me. She has the same passion as me for teaching and coaching kids.
“There’s been a few times where I haven’t been able to be at tournaments and games and she’s been able to step in and just coach the boys by herself.”
Simons said shepherding Maggie through soccer and applying for college scholarships has made them determined to offer the same guidance to the boys on their team.
“We kind of learned from that, seeing what she had to go through tryouts, visits with college coaches and those kind of camps and trying out for colleges and things like that,” he said. “With our boys, those that are interested in pursuing college, maybe beyond club, playing soccer in college, we kind of use what we learned with my daughter.”
In fact watching Maggie coach inspired him to pursue coaching in the first place.
“As I saw her being coached, I grew up playing soccer too, I got curious and I wondered if I could do that too,” Simons said. “I could maybe take a team and develop it.”
When they're not coaching, managing or playing soccer, the Simons can be found fundraising for their teams and other teams.
A week from Saturday you will find them at the 2015 Hokinson High School Soccer Jamboree in Brush Prairie, Washington.
2018 HHS Annual Soccer Jamboree, is Saturday July 21st at Hockinson High School (8 a.m. - 6 p.m.), 16819 NE 159th St., Brush Prairie WA 98606.