2nd annual Memorial Jamboree set for Aug. 10
by Becky Kimbrell-Norris
WAKE FOREST — The names and spirits of former Wake Forest-Rolesville and Franklinton high school soccer players Lane Meyer and Wade Halford live on.
When the two players died tragically in separate car accidents in 2011, their coaches and teammates wanted to make sure they would never be forgotten.
Through the Lane Meyer and Wade Halford Memorial Soccer Jamboree, money is being raised for a scholarship fund that honors both.
Saturday, Aug. 10 marks the second year of this continuing event.
“After the death of Lane and Wade, we decided to take our annual jamboree (previously hosted by Panther Creek High) into another direction,” said Deran Coe, former Wake Forest-Rolesville High athletic director. Coe is now the Senior Administrator for Athletics for the Wake County Public School System.
“We wanted to be able to give back by helping raise money for scholarships in memory of Lane and Wade,” Coe added.
Thirteen teams will participate in this year’s Memorial Jamboree, including Sanderson, Wake Forest, Millbrook, Franklinton, Green Hope, Pine Forest, West Johnston, Panther Creek, Jordan, Raleigh Charter, Wakefield, Harnett Central and Northwood.
The event will take place 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at three of the WRAL soccer fields, 7700 Perry Creek Road, which is home of the Capital Area Soccer League (CASL).
“CASL has been very gracious in letting us use their fields free of charge and in helping us run the jamboree,” said Wake Forest High School soccer coach Jeremiah Mattingly.
There is no cost for spectators but volunteers will ask for donations at each of the fields.
“Last year, we raised approximately $3,000 and we hope to raise even more this year,” Mattingly said. “The jamboree also gives teams a great opportunity to scrimmage against quality opposition early in the year.”
Meyer, a Wake Forest-Rolesville soccer player died with two other teenagers in June 2011 in a car wreck near Rolesville. Lane’s parents, Bob and Lynn Meyer, began a scholarship in his name to reward students who exemplify the traits that made their son such a special man.
Lane was a starting center midfield for the Cougars his sophomore and junior years and was an A honor roll student and member of the school’s National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and Beta Club.
“We are very pleased and honored that the tournament is being held in memory of Lane and Wade,” said Lynn Meyer. “We hope the players and their families will take a moment to think about the circumstances that caused the deaths of these two fine young men and realize that someone’s life can change in just a minute.”
“It was an honor to have been able to coach Lane and I know I am a better person for the influence he had on my life,” Mattingly said.
“We also want to reach out to the 200-300 plus teenage players on the importance of safe driving,” Mattingly added. “We hope that they will spread the message to as many people as they can and that our message may save someone.”
The Lane Meyer Scholarship Fund offers scholarships to soccer players at Wake Forest High School (formerly Wake Forest-Rolesville) in the amount of $2,500.
In addition to the Lane Meyer Scholarship Fund, proceeds from the Jamboree will also go to a scholarship fund honoring Wade Halford, Coe said.
Not only was Coe Halford’s soccer coach at Franklinton High, he watched him grow up from an elementary student at Youngsville Elementary to a college student at North Carolina State University.
“I am very close to his family,” Coe said. “Wade was a tremendous young man and I was very close to him.”
“He was like a little brother to me,” said Coe, who also gave the eulogy at Halford’s funeral.
Halford graduated from Franklinton High in 2007 and died in October 2011 just two months shy of graduating from the North Carolina State University School of Engineering.
In his senior year at NCSU, Halford was accepted to the Officer Candidates School for the United States Marine Corps. He was to be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the USMC flight program following his graduation from NCSU.
In December 2011, the university awarded Halford’s parents his diploma.
Each team is scheduled to play three 45-minute games in the jamboree.
Wake Forest will play its first game at 8 a.m. on the Stadium Field against Harnett Central while Franklinton will go against Panther Creek on the Baker Roofing Field also at 8 a.m.