By Sue Botos
Rocky River dedicates John Honeyman-Pat Gillespie Soccer Fields
Generations of Rocky River Soccer players, coaches and supporters gathered at Linden Park on August 24 for the dedication of the John Honeyman-Pat Gillespie Soccer Fields.
Among the speakers were current Rocky River High School soccer coach Kevin Zerby, who once played for Gillespie.
“It’s hard to call him ‘Pat,’ he will always be ‘Coach,'” Zerby said, summing up the thoughts of those gathered.
Other speakers included City Council President Jim Moran, a former soccer player, former recreation department director Mike Patterson, and former Rocky River High School girls’ soccer coach Pat Burke. Reflecting on Honeyman’s salesmanship skills, Burke recalled being asked to temporarily coach the girls’ team; an assignment that lasted 15 years.
Remembering Honeyman, who passed away in October of 2011, Gillespie stated, “John’s the one who got it going (the city soccer program), I just happened to tag along.”
Gillespie coached the boys team at the high school from 1970 until 2005 and was instrumental in the creation of both the Greater Cleveland and Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Associations. The more than 600 high school players coached by Gillespie were always given these words to use not just on the soccer field, but in everything they did, “Do your best at all times and never quit.”