On January 8th, 2017 the sport of power soccer lost one of its finest pioneers. Wearing number 14, Noel Pacheco fittingly stated each game exactly how old he was when he first started playing, but little did he know the game he found as a kid would end up accompanying him right up until his very last days.
He loved the sport that taught him life lessons and acted as a platform for his voice to reach others the way power soccer had done for him. A few weeks ago, Noel joined his teammate’s road tripping to Houston, Texas which just happened to be his home state and even though knowing the competition wouldn't be what the team was accustomed to, he excitedly took the opportunity to teach fellow players new to the sport.
I feel lucky to have had a front row seat to these performances as he could not miss. Everything he touched was a goal or led to one and, in perfect Noel fashion, he'd score then turn with his big famous smile and go directly to congratulating his teammates. The way he played that weekend was like he was bringing his journey full circle from where his had had begun.
He may have been born in Texas and may have grown up in Arizona, but his home was wherever his family was. A true testament to the greatness that lied within Noel was how caring and selfless he was. His wants and needs were never his concern until everyone else was taken care of. The best guy I ever known who also happened to be one of the biggest competitors, sport fanatics, adventurers and topped it all off with an enormous pure heart.
His power soccer career displays his journey beautifully as Noel started as an original member of the Arizona Heat during the Big Ball era and retired at the highest level the sport has ever known.
For the emotional ride, I and the rest of the Arizona Heat Elite members are enduring at this time because we know our captain will continue leading us to the promised land. For his family, his heart and soul our wishes and prayers are with each one of you. To everyone around the league feeling the loss of this soft spoken star know he is speaking loudly to us through every pass, every goal, every whistle while consoling the defeated and congratulating the victors, in the perfect Noel fashion. Peace and Love to the Greatest Champion, Noel Pacheco.
Written by Joey Wells