Never Quit

Some of you know that I help out at the girls’ summer practices and open fields. It gives me an opportunity to help support an organization I believe in while getting to know the coaches and students better so we have fun with the photos I take during the season. On Wednesday, the girls were faced with the dreaded Cooper Test.

Based on what I’ve read, we do a variation of the test. We run three laps on the track, rest for 60 seconds, then sprint one more lap. On of the students needed a partner to track their time, so I decided I’d jump in and run it as well.


In the second group, one of the other students was hurting pretty bad by the end of her three laps. We all encouraged her to give it her best shot. She needed some extra rest, then she went to walk the last lap with a few of us to make sure she was alright.

But then something really cool happened. We got to the last 100 meters, and she says out loud, “I’m finishing this,” and she took off on a sprint. I hollered, “I’m right there with you,” and we sprinted out the last part of that test.

The interesting thing is at this point, the coaches and the rest of the team was already moving to the next part of practice. She didn’t have to do anything other than walk it out. But instead, she wanted to finish…and finish strong.

I’m so proud of these girls.

Thanks for reading,
Jon Cole

Why I Do What I Do

My mind is a-flutter as I write this, so bear with me.

Last night was the girls’ soccer banquet which capped off yet another tremendous season. The way these girls work year after year to get to their high level is amazing. When I started shooting for the team, I took it for granted the way the organization operated. Once I started talking to other people who were a part of other soccer organizations, I started to fully realize how special the Clear Fork program truly is.

I’ve just finished my third full season with this team, and it has gone by quickly. It seemed like just a few weeks ago we were starting summer practices, and I was running around gathering up equipment for the coaches and introducing myself to new players. And now it’s done.

Some of you know my story. My good friend, Katie (who was one of the assistant coaches at the time), asked me to shoot some photos to raise some money for our mission trip at the end of the 2009 season. What started as casually shooting a few games turned into a desire to use my talents and passions to their fullest extent. See, I’m a natural-born sidekick. I thrive on being one who can make someone else’s visions come to life. About 10 or so years ago while in college, Continue reading


Coach Bechtel sent the girls on their water break yesterday during practice. They sat in the shade to recoup and chat with each other. Then, something really cool happened.

I hadn’t noticed that the freshmen had sat down in their own little group away from the rest of the team at first. Then, one of the veterans hollered toward the freshmen, “hey…come over with us. We don’t bite! You’re a part of this team!”

This is one of the many reasons I love this team. They are one. They are family. They have each others’ backs. And they don’t leave anyone behind.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen some churches who could take a lesson from my girls. We’re all in this together.

Team Huddle 2011


Thanks for reading,
Jon Cole


Friday was the first official day that coaches could hold practices with the girls. I was looking forward to it, so I worked out my schedule so I could be there, too. It was fun, throughout the day, to see the girls posting via Facebook and Twitter how excited they were to get back to the game they love.

During water breaks, the coaches would talk to the girls about what is expected and mindsets they should have going into this season. Coach Laux came forward with a sheet of paper that had “86,400” on it. He asked the girls what they thought it meant. One of the freshman almost immediately called out the answer.

86,400 is the number of seconds in one day. Coach wanted to be sure that the girls realized that every second is a chance to do something…a chance to work toward a goal. He reminded the girls that you can’t save those seconds. Once they are gone, they are gone.

I thought about all this while he was relating his life experience to the girls in order to encourage them to keep moving forward. Yes, he was encouraging them to work hard in soccer and do their best. But he was also, without going into a lot of detail, was encouraging them in their lives. There are people all around us…friends, family, classmates, co-workers, etc…that are impacted by  what we do. We don’t know how many sets of 86,400 we will get.

Case in point: one of my best friends had updated his Facebook tonight with something that told me he had something on his mind. I got on the phone with him to find out that while he was driving home from a day trip he took, he witnessed a horrendous accident. The thing is: he had just changed lanes on the highway when another vehicle slammed into the vehicle that took the spot he had just left. Had he stayed there, he could have been on the receiving end of that accident.

Each day we are given is a gift. We need to make a positive impact. We need to love.

And if you are member of the Lady Colts soccer team, we need to leave it all out on the field. No limits. 🙂

Thanks for reading,
Jon Cole

Season’s End

Sometimes I wonder if I could ever be a father because of how emotional I get. I watch my nieces and nephews and think about their young lives, and I wonder if I can handle it. I get really attached to people really easily. This is especially true of the local high school soccer team I’ve been a part of.

For those who don’t know, at the end of the 2009 season, I was given the opportunity to put my photography skills to work to see if I could raise some money for a mission trip. I attended the 5 tournament games they played that season and took photos at their games. Over that summer, I keep thinking about that experience. I like to take good photos, I like to give high fives, and I like to bake cookies (which is something else I started doing for the team in the meantime). Is it possible they’d let me come back?


The girls got knocked out of the tournament playing in the regional final today, which I believe is the third time in school history they have made it that far. They played their hearts out and gave everything they had. I’m so proud of them! This marks the end of my second full season with the team, so I’ve gotten to know a lot of the girls really well. Soccer allows me to adopt 40+ little sisters each season, and I love it! It was so hard to watch them get beat because of how hard they have worked to get this far. The team they played was really good, so they have nothing to be ashamed of.

I’ve taken several thousand shots, and I have many more to post to the main web site. Check them out at Most images are available for purchase as well (shameless self-plug). Here are some shots I’ve taken over the course of the season:

As you can see, I kinda like these girls. 😛 They’ve become a huge part of my life. It tough to see the season end. Real tough, actually.

It’s kinda funny how you think you have your life figured out…at least what direction you want to go once you finish high school or college, and then you get to that point and realize that life can be nothing like you imagine it. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing at all. The other night, after the girls rallied from behind to win the regional semi-final, I sat on the edge of my bed thinking about my life. If anyone would have told me as I left high school that I would be painting my hair green while hauling a camera around and jumping and cheering for a high school soccer team because I would be passionate about being a positive influence on a younger generation and would love them pieces like they were a part of my own family, I would have told them they were crazy. Yet, here I am…and I can’t imagine being anywhere else. I firmly believe God has me right where He wants me right now, and my heart is overcome.

Being emotional isn’t a bad thing. You get to experience life…raw and full.

Thanks for reading,
Jon Cole