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COMMUNITY VOICES | Bethune Soccer wins on the field and in the community
On Tuesday night, October 15, the Bethune Park soccer team won the 2013 Minneapolis Parks citywide 13u tournament championship. Bethune defeated Kenwood in the tournament finals 3-2 with a come-from-behind overtime victory.
The tournament win caps a year of victories both on the soccer field and in their community.
Most of the Bethune soccer players live at City View apartments, north Minneapolis’ largest predominantly Latino housing complex.
For over a year the City View soccer players have been working hard to get La Montaña razed.
La Montaña was a 30 foot tall pile of construction debris, nearly as high as the three story tall City View apartments next door. The construction rubble was left over from when the Heritage Park housing was built several years ago. Hidden behind the weeds was a hangout where men partied, slept and drank. The hangout was littered with beer cans, liquor bottles, bedding, toilet paper, underwear and used hypodermic needles
Starting in the spring of 2012, residents of City View apartments worked with Councilmember Don Samuels to get La Montaña taken down.
City View Soccer Players Share Findings with Councilmember Samuels
The City View soccer players were leaders in the drive to raze La Montaña, meeting with councilmember Samuels in his office and on the soccer field, giving him tours of the site, documenting problems, and keeping the councilmember up to date on developments.
City View Soccer Team Stands Next to The Steam Shovel That Ate La Montaña
Last fall, residents of City View apartments cheered as they watched a steam shovel, a bulldozer and other construction equipment ripping into La Montaña. It took two weeks for La Montaña to be leveled.
Councilmember Samuels Drops First Ball for New Soccer Field Where La Montaña Once Stood
This spring, grass seed was laid down on the field which replaced La Montaña. This summer, Minneapolis Parks donated two soccer goals and set them up where La Montaña once towered. And on August 5, over 70 residents of City View apartments cheered as councilmember Don Samuels dropped the ceremonial first ball onto their brand new soccer field
Bethune Soccer Players arrive at University of Minnesota UROC Community Open House
Two days after their tournament victory, City View soccer players came to the University of Minnesota UROC open house, and told their northside neighbors and U of M faculty about their hard work and their successes. The soccer players are already talking about what else needs to get fixed in their neighborhood, and inspiring others to join with them.
Bethune Soccer Players show U of M Provost Karen Hanson Pictures of La Montaña and players inside the steam shovel digger
Bethune Soccer Players Guess Where CURA Ambassador Jeff Corn was Born (Answer: England)
© 2013 Jay Clark