Know Your Numbers 4 Matt Sokol, Memorial Walk Sept. 8

Santa Rosa Black Oaks Soccer Club

Thanks to father Nicholas and club member Rob Nied for planning “Know Your Numbers 4 Matt Sokol” as a memorial for Matt, who passed away last year while playing for the club’s adult team.  On Sunday September 8th the American Heart Association will be hosting its annual Heart Walk, a fundraiser that includes a memorial service for loved ones lost and a health fair for those of us fortunate enough to still be living. There is a 1 mile walk in the morning at 9am.

Organizers would like to start a team called “Know Your Numbers 4 Matt Sokol.”  It’s free to join, but donations and sponsorships are welcome.  We’ll walk as a team and those of us without easy access to health care can take advantage of the health fair to get their blood pressure and cholesterol checked.  Invite your friends and mark your calendars.  RSVP on Facebook. In the afternoon, come watch the Black Oaks Adult team, who are scheduled to play Inter at 3pm in the Masters League at For Pete’s Sake Field.

If you would like to donate to the Heart Association via our team “Know Your Numbers 4 Matt Sokol.” The team has already raised over $2,000 and is Number 2 in fundraising efforts. Let’s show some Black Oaks spirit and push Matt to the top! Click Here to Donate

Learn more about Matt Sokol, who died playing the sport he loved for the Black Oaks.  We will never forget. – Click Here

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Celebrating Cinco de Martin

Martin Linley - Santa Rosa Black Oaks Soccer Club

Long-time Black Oaks Soccer Player Martin Linley

There will never be another Cinco de Mayo without remembering my old friend Martin Linley.  Martin was a founding member of the Black Oaks and played for several years on the over 30 team.  He was a feisty Brit who played hard, but after the whistle blew he would go from swearing at you to drinking pints with you, and made friends wherever he traveled.

He had many famous quotes, some directed at me and other teammates, like: “Touch of a donkey, lad!” or “Get stuck in!” A stalwart fullback, Martin had one philosophy, “You can let the ball by you, or the man by you, but never both.”  We had many great memories, including a fun soccer tournament in Puerto Vallarta with his family and our 30+ soccer team, Black Oaks Sol.  I always thought of him like an uncle, big brother, or team captain.

Not only did I have the pleasure of playing soccer with Martin, I worked with him for many years.  He was a mechanical engineer and loved working on cars, motorcycles and carts, loved to drive fast and love to experiment, or as he puts it, “blow things up.”  He was always a source of inspiration and recreation for me, whether it was having pints after work, talking about English soccer, or playing soccer, often a couple times a week. Read more of this post

Matt Sokol’s Father Recognizes Team at Memorial Service

The Black Oaks Soccer Club turns out to remember one of its fallen heroes.

It was a proud moment when the Black Oaks were asked to rise during the Memorial Service today for Matt Sokol. Hundreds turned out to remember the loss of a valuable member of our community.

The event was announced the day before by the daily paper and word spread. A teacher for Santa Rosa Schools, Matt touched the lives of hundreds of children and their families. Fellow teachers came forward with stories of what a wonderful teacher he was; how much he loved the students and teaching. Matt was passionate about fishing and fishing buddies showed up with stories. Read more of this post

Public Memorial Service Set this Weekend for Matt Sokol

Black Oaks Memorial Badge for Matt SokolFollowing an outpouring of community sympathy, sadness and celebration for the life of Matthew Nicholas Sokol, a public memorial service has been scheduled at 1 PM this Saturday at the Montgomery High School gymnasium. A reception will follow at 4 p.m. at Legends restaurant at the Bennett Valley Golf Course, 3328 Yulupa Ave. in Santa Rosa. Bagpipes will play in his memory at 12:45 p.m. Sunday before the Black Oaks game at For Pete’s Sake field at Northwest Community Park in Santa Rosa.

Family friends have also established a Matt Sokol Memorial Fund to benefit his wife at First Community Bank, 438 First St., Santa Rosa CA 95401.  The Press Democrat published an Obituary of Matt’s life this evening.  Continue Reading ===>

Matt Sokol (1971-2012) Remembered in Local Paper

Black Oaks Soccer Club team member Matt Sokol

Matt Sokol (center)

Teammates mourn popular soccer player and teacher Matt Sokol

Santa Rosa’s tight-knit soccer community was in mourning Sunday over the sudden death of a beloved 41-year-old player who collapsed during a club soccer match and never regained consciousness.

Matt Sokol, a former standout soccer player and coach at Montgomery High School, had just come off the pitch at Northwest Community Park in Santa Rosa about noon Sunday when he appeared to suffer a seizure on the sidelines and blacked out.

His Black Oaks Soccer Club teammates, who include a doctor at Kaiser Hospital, quickly went to his aid. Despite their efforts, Sokol died a short while later at Sutter Medical Center of an apparent heart-related ailment. Continue Reading at the Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Black Oaks Remember Player/Coach Jesse Garcia (1956-2012)

It was a big surprise and heartbreaking to hear that Jesse Garcia died Saturday July 14 in a horrific auto accident, covered in the Press Democrat. Jesse was the team leader for a senior team that helped expand the Black Oaks during the late 90’s and early 2000’s. A fun, intelligent teammate who played at a high level his entire life beyond the age of 50. It was fun playing with him and all the other excellent soccer players he brought along with him, including his brothers and long-time friends. Childhood friend Thomas Cruz, in an interview with the Press Democrat, called him a “fierce defender” but he was an even tougher opponent. He played on many teams and usually became the outspoken leader no matter where he played, often leading from the sidelines and on the field. Through these many, teams, games and tournaments he touched many lives and leaves behind a large, extended family in Santa Rosa and Windsor. Many are devastated by his loss and the controversy behind it, as covered by the Press Democrat. Thank you, Jesse, for sharing the vision of locally grown soccer and making an important contribution to the greater soccer community. You will be missed by many. ===>;Continue Reading at the Santa Rosa Press Democrat

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