Seth Ernst loved playing soccer and his parents, Dave and Betty Ernst, were always on the sidelines at their son’s games. That was when he was on the playing field. Their son was a sophomore at Geneseo High School when he and two classmates died from injuries incurred in a car accident on Oct. 15, 2000.

Generous financial contributions were made to the Ernst family in memory of Seth, and the couple chose to seek an avenue to keep their son’s memory alive. The Seth Ernst Memorial Soccer Slam was organized in 2007 and continues today, with the 14th annual tournament set for Jan. 24-26 for boys and girls ages U6/7-U11 in addition to the U2Old (under 30) Division, which is for Geneseo School District residents and alumni, and Seth Slam coaches, along with one guest player; and from Feb. 28-March 1 for ages 12-14/15 and Geneseo High School students in grades 9-12. U14/15 players may not be in high school.

Registration deadlines are Jan. 7 for ages 6/7-11 and U2Old. The deadline for ages 12-14/15 and Geneseo High School is Feb. 11.

Special guests will be members of the wheelchair soccer team from the Socialization, Training, Rehabilitation, Independence, Vocation and Education (S.T.R.I.V.E.) Rehabilitation Center in Prophetstown, who will play a scrimmage against local heroes at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 26, and who also assist with a live auction conducted by Stenzel Auction Service at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 29.

Jill DePauw, tournament director, said, “The Seth Ernst Memorial Soccer Slam has supported STRIVE for many years by donating money to purchase handicapped running carts, special rock climbing equipment, basketball supplies and more to assist this extremely valuable organization.”
Jason Stenzel and the Stenzel Auction crew will conduct a live auction on Saturday, Jan. 25, and anyone interested in donating an item for either the Jan. 25 or the Feb. 29 auctions, should call DePauw at 309-945-2696.

Representatives from Whimsy Pixie Paint will return for the fifth year to provide face painting on Sunday, Jan. 26.