250 youths play soccer in memorial
Gail Maholick/TIMES NEWS Shane Meckes, center, with the ball, and the Mayhem soccer team played in the Hunter Meckes Memorial Soccer Tournament. Shane is a brother to Hunter Meckes.
More than 250 youths ages 7 to high school age played in the Hunter Meckes Memorial Soccer Tournament on Sunday afternoon at Lehighton Area High School to memorialize a young boy who lost his life on Jan 27, 2003.
Hunter Meckes was 5 years old when he died in a car accident. He loved to play soccer and wrestle and his mother, Sherry Meckes vowed that her son would never be forgotten. She initiated a soccer tournament in her son's name to establish a scholarship that would be presented to deserving seniors at Jim Thorpe Area High School and Lehighton Area High School at their awards assembly.
The game is always played in April which is the month that Hunter celebrated his birthday.
In all 55 teams were fielded in games that took place throughout the day. The youngsters ran and kicked and bumped the ball into the net. The unseasonably cool temperatures didn't deter the players who all came out to remember Hunter and the player he wanted to be.
Sherry depends on her friends at the Lehighton Area Soccer Club to help her organize the event and they have never let her down. Sunday's event was no different in that respect from past years.
"We have soccer players from as far away as Maryland and have several teams from Allentown and Pocono Mountain," said Sherry Smith, who assisted Meckes with the event.
Meckes will present two scholarships to a graduating boy and girl in Jim Thorpe High School who is a good student and a soccer player and at Lehighton Area High School, a soccer player and a wrestler will be selected.
Hunter's brothers were all at the event, including Shane Hunter, who is 10 years old and plays on the Mayhem team. The two younger brothers Hayden, 3, and Dawson, 5, wore green jackets that are dedicated to the memory of their brother.
The event raised approximately $6,000 toward the scholarship fund.