If you want to see some good soccer, New Berlin West will be hosting the first Mike Dillett Memorial Invitational on Friday and Saturday.
The Invitational will include a some talented teams - Madison West, which is third-ranked in state, Verona, honorable mention in state, Eau Clare Memorial (2010 Division 1 State Semifinalist), Bay Port, Fox Valley Lutheran (2010 Division 2 State runner-up), Plymouth (2010 Division 2 State Semifinalist), Hartford, and the host Vikngs.
The tournament begins on Friday at 2:30 p.m. with Eau Claire Memorial vs. Fox Valley Lutheran and
Bay Port vs. Verona.
Madison West squares off against Hartford and Plymouth faces New Berlin West 4:15 p.m.
Saturday's game times are set for 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
For those of you who didn't Mike Dillett was the former New Berlin West Boys and Girls Varsity Soccer coach who passed away Dec. 21, 2009 presumably from the effects of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a brain disease he was diagnosed with just weeks before his death.
Ryan Otten, the current Vikings coach, had some wonderful things to say about Dillett.
"Mike was a passionate and religious man who warmed the hearts of everyone who came in contact with him. Moreover, not only was he a successful business and family man for many years, but he was a soccer man nearly his entire life."
Mike's soccer career began in 1966 at Pius XI High School. In 1969 he joined the newly formed Milwaukee Kickers. His love of and dedication to soccer was acknowledged in 2008 when he was inducted into the Kicker Hall of Fame. He began coaching soccer at New Berlin West High School during the 2000-01 school year.
"His coaching style drew players closer to the sport," Otten said. "A very composed and calm game coach, he taught his players about sportsmanship and the love of the game. Mike believed in teaching his players about the one thing he epitomized: character."
As Head Varsity Coach of New Berlin West High School from 2000-2009, he not only taught the game but became a mentor of life both on and off the field.
"Not only did Mike experience success with numerous conference championships and a trip to the State Tournament but he will most often be remembered for the integrity to which he approached each game," Otten told me.
"His firm handshake, broad smile and laughter will forever echo in the memories of those who have been blessed enough to call him Father, Friend, & Coach."
He leaves behind his wife Linda, 12 children and 12 grandchildren.