Hunter Meckes Soccer Tournament raises $10,000 toward memorial scholarship fund
Gail Maholick/TIMES NEWS For the past five years a soccer tournament in memory of Hunter Meckes has been held in Lehighton to memorialize a young boy who passed away when he was 5 years old. From left are, J.D. Light, president of the Lehighton Area Soccer Club; holding Dawson, 6; Shane Meckes, 12, Christine Bauer, and Angela Peterman; and back row, Sherry Meckes, Hayden Meckes, 5; David Meckes, Leslie Meckes, Trisha Higgins, Dawn Lawler and Todd Smith.
For the past five years, a grieving mom has worked hard to memorize the life of her young son who was lost his life in a car accident on Jan. 27, 2003.
Sherry Meckes of Penn Forest knew her much her son loved to play soccer, so she initiated the Hunter Meckes Memorial Soccer Tournament in his name to establish a scholarship that would be presented to deserving seniors at Jim Thorpe High School and Lehighton Area High School at their awards assembly.
The event was held Sunday with 48 team - more teams than ever - making this years tournament an event to remember. Several hundred youths ages 7 to high school age enjoyed a great afternoon of soccer.
The game is always played in April which is the month that Hunter celebrated his birthday. Hunter would have turned 15 years old today, April 16.
While the sky was overcast and they were slight rain sprinkles, the weather was almost perfect for the several hundred soccer players who all came out to remember Hunter and be the player he wanted to be. The youngsters ran and kicked and bumped the ball into the net.
Meckes coordinates the event with the Lehighton Area Soccer Club.
Soccer players came from all over the Lehigh Valley, Monroe County Philadelphia area and Carbon and Schuylkill counties. There were high school teams from Lehighton, Tamaqua and Jim Thorpe, plus Carbon United teams playing at 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 12 years old. The two younger brothers Hayden, 5, and Dawson, 6, were also at the event.
This year's event raised approximately $10,000 toward the scholarship fund.