SD Surf Player Scores First Goal Since Returning from Therapy
Travis Hackett is enduring a journey that takes strength beyond what many have dealt with in their lifetime. Hackett was diagnosed with leukemia two years ago and returned to the pitch in 2015 after spending months receiving chemo therapy.
In recent weeks, he provided a moment of magic for his club when he scored the game-winning goal in the championship of Southern California Developmental Soccer League playoffs.
The team was led by Travis Hackett in the championship match.
Hackett scored the lone goal to hoist the title.
The goal marked his first tally since being diagnosed with leukemia in October 2014 and provided a moment of inspiration for everyone, including his teammates.
After being diagnosed two years ago, Hackett missed most of the 2014-15 season due to treatment; spending several months in and out of the hospital receiving chemo.
San Diego Surf SC held his place on the team and he was able to return in September 2015, playing 10-15 minutes at a time. Hackett still receives chemo, which limits his endurance on the field, but he has worked hard to stay competitive. It takes great passion for the beautiful game and strength of character to accomplish what this young player has.
“It’s been a tremendous pleasure coaching Travis and getting to know his family,” said 2003 Boys Head Coach Beto Villela. “We have learned to trust each other and work together and God has absolutely honored our faith.”
“When it gets tough on the field, average players quit, good players keep playing, but the great players will step up to make the difference,” said Villela.
“Travis never quit during the hardest time of his life and his determination is making a difference in many people’s lives,” said Villela. “I’m just thankful to be his coach.”
Hackett will continue to receive chemo until February 2018.
The championship-winning goal was a sweet and emotional moment for the team and club who have remained incredibly supportive throughout the process.
The club was able to document the goal and win as the 03 Surf team closes the year with celebration.
Check out Hackett’s game-winning goal below:
Updated @ 2:52 12.29.16 to add coach’s quotes.