Hunt Silcock passed away December 29, 2002. He played for the Comets ‘89 blue team for three and a half years and had attended Comets camps and clinics for two years prior to that. His brother James plays for the Comets ‘88 blue team. I had the pleasure of coaching him for all of this time. A coach could not ask for a more dedicated player. He was always at practice and he loved the sport of soccer. Hunt demonstrated his love in the way he played and practiced the game. He was a team leader and a very talented player. He had an infectious personality and touched all he came into contact with. He was friends with all of his teammates and he will be sorely missed by his team, their parents and all of the opponents who had the opportunity to compete against this little player who had the heart of a lion. I had the privilege to speak at his memorial service. It really was a service to commemorate his life that unfortunately was too short. I would just like to share with everyone in the soccer community these words in memory of him that were said at the service: “Hunt is our friend, Hunt is our teammate, Hunt is our spirit, Hunt is our inspiration.” RIP.
The first time I experienced Hunt’s exceptional soccer abilities was at Inwood Soccer Center. We were playing on the small sided field in the Hunt, the small, mighty one, dribbled circles around me -- literally. I got so frustrated, I had to stop. I think he was glad too, because I was definitely no challenge for him.
Hunt always stood out at our Comets ‘88 Blue games —
always there with his dad, supporting his big brother, James — always with his soccer ball — always polite and cheerful. Hunt wore the #3 jersey for the Comets ‘89 Blue team. His coach, David Hudgell, and the Comets ‘89 blue team retired the #3 jersey in memory of Hunt. His brother James, however, will continue to wear his #3 with great honor and memory. Hunt will be greatly missed!
Hunt Silcock was a North Texas ‘89 State Team player. He graced us with his presence on the first team. This age group had 70 of the best players from all over the state. Hunt was in the starting eleven. He was a model State Team player.
Hunt was one of the smallest players on the field, a late developer. Looked small -- played big. He worked twice as hard as anybody out there in order to hold his spot and stamp his imprint on the game. He never ceased to amaze the coaching staff and his peers who played with him. He earned the respect of all.
I find it impossible to find words to justify and truly express what a special person Hunt was. He was truly gifted and talented in many ways. He led by example, always giving 100% in effort and concentration. We were all affected by his infectious enthusiasm. We learned from him and tried to follow the high standards he set with his skill, intelligence, athleticism, and fighting spirit. He embraced such a positive attitude.
At the last Olympic Development Program practice, Dec. 15th, the National Coach Juan Carlos Machia worked with the ‘89’s. This session was extremely demanding, as the boys were challenged physically and mentally by the training environment. I was so proud of Hunt, particularly impressed by how he rose to the challenge. I remember putting my arm around him and telling him what a good job he was doing, having a great practice and to keep up the skillful display. He looked up at me and said, “I really like the National Coach, this is great!” Most boys were glad of the water break -- not Hunt -- he couldn’t get enough; he was the first one back out there. Coach Machia inquired about Hunt, pointing out that we had a special talent in our midst.
I wish we had eleven Hunt Silcocks. I wish we had more like him. The soccer field is a place of pleasure and pain. Hunt will live with us all forever.
We can not imagine how the Silcock family is feeling at this very difficult time. Rest assured they are in our thoughts and prayers constantly.
The North Texas Soccer family has a guardian angel forever watching over us, his name is HUNT SILCOCK.
--With Deepest Sympathy, Gary Williamson, North Texas Soccer State Coach
For a noble cause.
BY ZACH WOLFE
On the Monday morning of m y 2008 Thanksgiving
Break, I thought my fate had already been sealed.
Billy Eichenholz ‘09 and then-sophomore Hayden Wolf and I had just concluded an interview with Jim and Julie Silcock.
We were working on a piece for The ReMarker about Jim and Julie and their son, Hunt, an avid soccer player and quintessential young Marksman who died halfway through his seventh grade school year.
Though it had been six years since Hunt came down with the vicious virus that forced the fatal inflammation of his heart, the tragic story of the Silcock family’s loss had yet to have been adequately told. So, with all of our unbridled journalistic ambition, we set out to be the first to do so.
On the way back to school from the Silcock's Preston Hollow home, we knew the interview had provided plenty of material to develop the story. Hayden had taken the right pictures, and Billy and I had asked the right questions.
But most imperative were the Silcock's answers. I don’t even need to return to my tape recording of the interview to hear Jim’s upbeat voice profess that Hunt was his best buddy. That he was something like the energizer bunny with a big heart. I don’t need to hear the tape to remember Julie fighting back tears—but smiling nonetheless—while reminiscing about Hunt’s antics while on a vacation in Bermuda.
For the story, Billy and I just tried to capture their infectiously authentic compassion. All we wanted was to encapsulate the unconditional love that manifested in every word they offered. Our attempt was published in the sports section of the December 2008 issue of The ReMarker.
But writing the story was the last thing on my mind as we rode back to school on that late November morning.
Less than an hour before, Jim and Julie spoke of preserving Hunt’s zest for life, of sustaining the memories Hunt inspired.
For them, building off Hunt’s unrelenting passion for soccer was the natural place to start. They began by renovating the field east of Hunt Family Stadium—now known as Silcock Field.
Then, they founded a non-profit organization to provide underprivileged children the
opportunity to learn and play the beautiful game. Hunt4Soccer.
Then, they even purchased professional-
caliber benches for the 2007-2008 varsity soccer team, a team comprised of some of Hunt’s Middle School teammates. It’s what Hunt would have wanted for his team. The team he once dreamed of leading to an SPC championship.
Ah, an elusive SPC championship. The one thing Jim couldn’t provide. For me, that was the natural place to start.
I was also a member of that 2007-2008 team. The team that wore navy armbands emblazoned with Hunt’s number, a golden “3,” as we blew a two-to-nil lead and lost to Holland Hall in the SPC championship.
Now it was Nov. 24, 2008, and though that wretched championship gameday had passed, it still felt like it would live on as my legacy. Because in 72 hours, I was to go under the knife for a second knee surgery in as many years, and the orthopedists said that giving up competitive soccer would be for the best.
So as I hobbled from Billy’s car to mine, I was sure my soccer career was over, my fate had been sealed. I’d never win a title. I even wrote somewhat of a retirement column for that same December paper.
But over the next months, in light of the Silcock's transcendent message, my decision to quit began to fester. Though I never knew Hunt, I soon felt indebted to him. How selfish it was of me to give up. Hunt would eagerly inherit my disposition—bad leg and all.
By February, I thought, “to hell with the doctors.” If nothing else, this time I’d be snapping my knee for a noble cause.
For the Silcocks. For Hunt.
I made a comeback — or a semblance of one — this past winter. I never fully returned to my sophomore year form, but I scored some goals. I tried.
But I didn’t seize the opportunity like Hunt would have. And I had a chance to. In this year’s championship match, I had a chance to erase the one-to-nil deficit to ESD.
One chance to honor Hunt’s memory. One chance to equalize the match, to put us in position to secure the trophy that Lions soccer hasn’t hoisted since 1985.
But I didn’t capitalize.
People have been asking me why I’m “so depressed” these days. They say that I should stop dwelling on it, that it was “just a game.” Maybe now they’ll understand that it was much,