Last Saturday the sun was shining, the weather was perfect and the level of excitement was beyond belief as hundreds of excited children took to the bright green grass at Brulte Field in Running Springs for picture day, the cleat exchange and the food drive. The food drive was held in honor of the son of local soccer program founders Larry and Sandy Caplinger’s son, John Alexander Caplinger, who recently died of cancer. John supported his church with food donations so the food drive last Saturday was a way to continue a project that meant so much to their son.The food drive keeps John’s spirit alive to those who knew him and to those who never met him but love and respect his parents.
Looking down on the hundreds of children who were running around the field from a vantage point well above the field it was a little bit like watching a huge number of colorful giant ants running around. It was absolute pure joy and the children involved, from the youngest to the oldest, couldn’t have been more excited. With all their brand new colorful green, blue, red and other colored uniforms it was such fun to watch the children and it was so easy to see that they were terribly, terribly excited and couldn’t wait for the soccer season to start.
Not only was it fun to watch the children it was fun to remember back so many years when that field wasn’t even there. One of the most glorious days , ever, was when that field was dedicated and, of course, (then) California Senator Jim Brulte was there for the occasion. You want magic? That day was magic!
I know the former state senator would be so happy to hear that the field is “going strong” and remains an integral part of the mountain communities he represented for so many years.
Yep, some days are diamonds, some days are stones as the late, great John Denver sang. Last Saturday was definitely “one of the diamonds.”
Welcome to Soccer 2014 kids, have a great time. And to Sandy and Larry Caplinger…..this is your legacy. I couldn’t help but look at the hundreds of colorfully dressed children having so much fun and thinking back so many decades ago when that field wasn’t there and I’d never even heard of soccer.
We each, in life, have the opportunity to change lives. We don’t think of it that way but we do and Sandy and Larry Caplinger have changed lives and they have enriched the lives of thousands of children throughout the years. Throughout the decades they have remained the “main movers and shakers” and how they do it, I don’t know. It must be in their blood and like so many things in life their interest and dedication has rubbed off on hundreds of other parents, coaches, sponsors and supporters who continue to keep soccer alive in the local mountains.