A member of the Peninsula football community for 25 years, Al Cousineau called it “bittersweet” to host the Goalkeeper’s Cup futsal tournament at the less than a-year-old HR Sportsplex in Newport News, where he is based. Managing Partner.
The 5-on-5 match, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday at the complex with 30,000 square feet of field space, will raise money for the foundation of two young goalkeepers who were killed in the crash, which tournament co-founder Tammy Gweedo called “the Regional Driver” “
Gweedo expects the foundation to raise $10,000 through a contest and silent auction (www.32auctions.com/KeepersCup2022). Auction prizes include tickets to sporting events, a $2,700 necklace donated by Simply Unique Jewelry Designs and an obedience kit from Off Leash K9 Training of Yorktown.
Cousineau coached Tabb High School goaltender Conner Gweedo (or Guido), who died in 2019, at the club level. He was a longtime friend of Luke Messick’s mum, Marcy Messick, a goalkeeper for Kecoughtan, Randolph-Macon College and Lionsbridge FC, who was killed in a car accident in 2021.
“I’m honored to be able to do this, but it’s heartbreaking to have these stories align with our football community,” Cousineau said. “It’s a bittersweet feeling in the sense that the lives of these two wonderful young men were cut short.
“They’re both leaders on their respective teams and have everything to look forward to. We’re connected to their stories and because you get to know them, it has more personal meaning to you, so I’m honored to do that. Do.”
Cousineau said Luke Messick’s story was about a young man with a good heart who followed his football dreams and then wanted to give back to the community. So he formed an alliance with an orphanage in Ghana to provide second-hand football equipment.
[ Former Kecoughtan High, Lionsbridge soccer goalie who died in I-95 car crash remembered for positive spirit, zest for life ]
After Luke Messick’s death, his parents, David Messick, created the Luke Messick Football Charity (757-725-1767, lukemessickfc.com). As well as raising money to provide education and football supplies to students in Accra, Ghana, the charity is also increasingly funding university and summer camp scholarships.
“Luke has a heart of gold, so we’re delighted to have the means to change the world like he did,” said David Messick ahead of the 2021 Goalkeepers Cup.
Cousineau was impressed by the work Tammy Gweedo has done in the memory of her son, who was killed in a car crash along with two other boys after Tabb’s 2019 Homecoming Dance, to improve the state’s students and their parents driving education.
Since founding the Gweedo Memorial Foundation (757-812-4455 or connergweedo.com), she has successfully lobbied the Virginia Legislature to pass two laws.
The Connor Act prohibits schools from issuing parking permits to unlicensed drivers. Another law passed this summer requires public high school students to watch a 90-minute film about driving safety while encouraging their parents to do the same.
Gweedo says the ifyouseesomethingsaysomething.org website she founded is now attracting responses from as far away as Texas. It allows teens to anonymously report driving offenses by their peers without fear of reprisal.
“I’m proud to continue giving back to the community through this competition,” she said. “I think Conor would want me to do that.”
Start your morning with the day’s headlines.
Cousineau said the tournament will feature up to 30 teams — from 12s to adults — and nearly 300 players. Aside from competitive football, he felt that most of the work at hand would be impacted by the foundation’s efforts.
“I think the idea of spreading the larger message of living with purpose and giving back to the community affects all the people who come out and get involved,” Cousineau said. “It’s not just the kids, it’s their families who see ‘If you see Say what you want’ shows and be a part of it.
“I’m happy to be a small part of what they’re doing.”
to know more information: About Luke Messick Futbol Charities: Call 757-725-1767 or visit lukemessickfc.com
About the Gweedo Memorial Foundation: call 757-812-4455 or visit connergweedo.com
Participate in an online auction or sweepstakes: www.32auctions.com/KeepersCup2022
Attend the Keeper’s Cup Futsal Tournament: HR Sportsplex, 630 79th St., Newport News, 757-586-5001.More than 60 games on Saturday 10am-6pm and Sunday 10am-5pm