CORNER BROOK, NL – Seeing his name on a sign that will appear outside a place he loves very much left Doug Sweetapple feeling both fantastic and a little bit humiliated on Tuesday night.
“It’s a tough question trying to answer what it means to name a field,” said Sweetapple as the city of Corner Brook and its soccer community gathered to honor him at the new Doug Sweetapple soccer field. on Wellington Street in Corner Brook.
“It’s probably going to sink over a longer period of time,” he said.
“It’s not something you start out thinking it will happen,” he said after the big unveiling on the lot that had been known as the Wellington Street complex for most of the years. Last 13 years.
“And the journey and all the things that have been going on from the start until now, that’s where the glory is, just to be involved and just to volunteer,” he said.
Sweetapple has been involved with soccer in the city for over 50 years as a player, coach and executive member.
Later this month, he and his wife, Lynda, will leave town and move to Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, to be closer to their children and grandchildren.
The city announced it would rename the pitch Sweetapple in February – a decision that came after a joint proposal to do so submitted to the city by the Corner Brook Ladies’ Soccer League, Corner Brook Men’s Soccer League and the Corner Brook Minor. Football association last October.
The bands all have a strong affection for Sweetapple and credit him with a lot of success the sport has had in the city.
Partly because the volunteers have changed from year to year, Sweetapple has remained a constant.
And he did it for the love of the game.
He said a lot of people in different sports have the same love and desire.
“Mine was precisely football. “
And while he’s heard a lot about what people think he’s brought to the sport and, in many cases, their lives, Sweetapple doesn’t consider his involvement to be limited to him.
“I see it as a team effort, like everyone else who was involved and I happened to be the person who stayed the longest.”
Leaving Corner Brook is going to be very difficult, he said as he looked around the pitch, adding that he could probably name everyone present, from former teammates and management to current players.
And it’s not just football that he’s quitting as he’s involved in a lot of other things in the community.
“I’m leaving it all, but the good thing is I’m going towards (something). It’s not someone pushing me, it’s the toss on the other side.
Even if he will not be on the field, he will still bring elements as the organization gets used to operating without him.
“My vision is that we respond to everyone, from the kid who can barely walk on the court but who falls, to the elite athlete. I think we have to continue to strive to provide for everyone. “
Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association president Doug Redmond came from St. John’s to attend the christening ceremony.
“Doug (Sweetapple) really deserved this award and in football it’s nice to see someone of his caliber being recognized,” he said.
“Everyone in Newfoundland knows Doug Sweetapple. Doug Sweetapple is known across the province.
“He’s been so good at the sport. Soccer is Doug’s life and whether it’s Corner Brook soccer, Western soccer, Newfoundland soccer, he’s always contributed, and he does it with a heart and a half, ”said Redmond. . “It’s his life. Doug loves the game.
Redmond said that whenever he visited town he never called Sweetapple because he knew he would find him in a field.
“He’s always there and he’s always been there for the right reason. He’s there for the kids, he’s there for women’s soccer, men’s soccer – he’s just there for soccer.
“What he did for Corner Brook soccer, no one will ever know.”