Soccer complex to be named in memory of Alex Rickli
The county’s new soccer complex will be named for Joy Alexandria Rickli, the teenager who died in a traffic accident last month.
Soccer coach Rocky Riffle asked the Morgan County Parks & Recreation board at their July 7 meeting to name the new soccer complex in Rickli’s honor so her memory will live on.
The board voted unanimously to name the soccer complex the Alex Rickli Memorial Soccer Complex.
More than 30 members of the Berkeley Springs High School soccer team, Morgan County Recreational Youth Soccer League players and parents attended the meeting to show support for Riffle’s request.
Rickli, 13, would have been starting goalie for the high school girls’ soccer varsity team this fall.
She was killed in a June 24 accident while riding her bicycle to soccer training.
Rickli played soccer for the recreational youth league for four years and for the indoor Morgan County Girls Soccer Team and the traveling all girls’ soccer team.
For three years, she was coached by Riffle, who has been a Recreational Youth Soccer League coach since the league began 15 years ago. This will be his seventh season coaching the high school girls’ varsity soccer team.
Season dedicated to her
This season and year will be dedicated to Alex Rickli. Girls’ soccer team members are all wearing their blue and gold wristbands in memory of Rickli.
Proceeds from the sale of wristbands are going to a memorial scholarship that is in Rickli’s name.
The loss of a teammate has brought a lot of kids together and made players much closer, Riffle said.
“They want to do everything for Alex,” he said.
Riffle described Rickli as dedicated, a perfect child to coach and an all-around great kid.
“Everything she did, she did 150%,” he said.
Rickli attended the soccer conditioning program and was going to extra soccer practices every week to get ready for the varsity squad. Riffle felt she had great potential as a soccer player.
He described Rickli as an aggressive player on the field and the kindest one you could meet off the field, Riffle said. She was a friend to all the kids around her, whether it was in soccer or dance.
Rexanne Gay Rickli said her daughter was very involved in church and her youth group, and was excited to be a vacation Bible school helper. Soccer and dance were her life.
The outpouring of support from the community has been incredible, Mrs. Rickli said.
Everyone has done so much for them. There were so many people at the memorial service, they had to turn them away, she said.
She knew others in the community had lost their children, too.
“We would never have survived to this point without this community,” she said.
Has hit hard
Coach Riffle said Rickli’s death hit a lot of parents hard. They have kids in sports and kids on bicycles.
“They go out the door and you don’t know if they’re going to come back again,” he said.
Naming the soccer field to remember Alex Rickli was the ultimate thing the community could do for her, Riffle said.
“It was an honor to know her,” Riffle said.