UNIVERSITY PARK — Mack Brady always loved playing in goal on the soccer field.
A little more than a year after his sudden death from a severe bacterial infection, more than 100 kids assembled in Holuba Hall to run some goalie drills and practice other skills in the second annual Mack Brady Clinic. The free event was open to kids in kindergarten through eighth grade.
After his son’s death, Penn State Schreyer Honors College Dean Christian Brady said he knew he wanted to do something to honor his son and the idea for the clinic came up in a conversation with a Major League Soccer goalie.
He said the support from the university and the town has been great and he was happy with the turnout Sunday.
“Community is the word and this is an incredible community,” he said. “It’s a great feeling.”
Penn State men’s soccer coach Bob Warming and his staff and players organized the substance of the clinic. About 10 players showed up to help and provide an example for the youngsters.
Warming said the day is a great celebration of Mack’s life and his love of soccer. He said the day is all about Mack and he is always happy to help any way he can.
Brady contacted him about the clinic a few days after Mack’s death and he jumped on the idea.
And the soccer players showing up is big for the kids, said Craig Stout, who brought his son out for the event.
He said those players have reached the point that the kids would like to get to and when they are able to work with them, the players can become role models.
Stout added that the event is very positive for the area because it allows people involved with local soccer to come together, show support and honor Mack.
“I think this is great, to reach out to the community and let the community be a part of it,” he said.
Brady said watching the kids practice goalie drills is a little bittersweet because he misses his son, but he is happy to get the chance to give back to local soccer organizations and bring people together.
There hasn’t been an announced date for the third year of the event, but the organizers want to keep it going for years to come.
Matt Morgan can be reached at 235-3928. Follow him on Twitter @MetroMattMorgan.