Amanda Post Memorial Tournament About More Than Just Soccer

Another successful year is in the books for the SAC Amanda Post Memorial Tournament that wrapped up this past weekend in Ellicott City. The two weekend tournament, however, is about more than just soccer; they were about celebrating Amanda’s life and her family.

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Amanda Post Memorial Tournament at Covenant Park in Ellicott City

Amanda Josephine Post or “Pippy” started playing soccer at the age of six for the Soccer Association of Columbia (SAC).  She was a petite, fun-spirited player that could hold her own against anyone on the field. When Amanda was eight years old she began playing for the Lady Diplomats travel soccer team and continued to play with the “Lady Dips” into the fall of 2008.

In November of 2006, Amanda was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) as a seventh-grader at Folly Quarter Middle School. Once Amanda heard her diagnoses, she leaped into her mother’s arms; but after some discussion with her doctor, Amanda looked at her mother Cheryl, and said “I am going to be fine.”

Amanda would undergo five rounds of inpatient chemotherapy at the Children’s Hospital at Sinai in Baltimore. “Nobody had more fun with cancer then Amanda”, Cheryl Post told me in an interview, “She was a happy-go-lucky-girl that was making the most of her condition. Amanda would plan the nurses’ weddings, paint their nails and decorate her hospital room to take her mind off of her treatment.” Amanda was able to finish her chemotherapy and returned to the 8th grade where she made straight A’s and resumed playing travel soccer.

In the fall of 2008, Amanda began her freshman year at River Hill High School and was able to secure a spot as a starting forward for the girls’ JV soccer team. She continued to play with the Lady Diplomats, wearing her lucky number “24”. During this time the Lady Dips received a new head coach, Lindsay Simpson, from the University of Maryland and were traveling to Williamsburg for a soccer tournament. The Posts were unsure if Amanda would be able to play and were hesitant to let her go. Amanda wouldn’t let leukemia stand in her way of playing the game she loved. When Simpson asked Amanda if she could Amanda responded with “of course I can play.” It was a truly inspirational weekend for the Lady Diplomat team as Amanda scored two goals and had found her form on the soccer team once again.

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Young soccer players reading about Amanda Post

Unfortunately, Amanda’s AML had returned and she would once again have to undergo two rounds of chemotherapy at Sinai, followed by a bone marrow transplant (BMT) at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Amanda passed away on May 17th, 2009 due to complications from her bone marrow transplant.

Although Amanda’s life was short she was able to touch and change so many people’s lives. Many of her friends have gone onto study medicine and want to be the change in others’ lives as Amanda was in theirs. Together, her friends and family were able to establish the Amanda Post Memorial Fund that annually funds two $5,000 scholarships, the Amanda Post “AmandaWins” River Hill High School Student-Athlete Scholarship, and the AmandaPost  “AmandaWins” Soccer Association of Columbia/Howard County Student-Athlete Scholarship.

When Amanda passed away the Posts, SAC and her original Lady Dips coach Rick Cantore wanted to see Amanda’s spirit and love for soccer live on. Many ideas bounced around from dedicating a field in her name to placing a plaque at the Covenant Park Soccer Complex in Ellicott City. Ultimately, it was decided that they would rename, SAC’s “March Mania” soccer tournament in which Amanda and her Lady Dips had played when they were ages U-9 to U-12, to the Amanda Post Memorial Tournament. Cheryl Post said, “That is what Amanda would have wanted. It is nice to see the tournament t-shirts around in the community or when a friend tells you they saw someone wearing an Amanda Post shirt in the mall. Amanda would love it.”

For Amanda’s CarePage you can follow this link:

http://www.carepages.com/carepages/AmandaWins

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