I’m going to tell you right off the bat – I’m not a big soccer fan.

I’ll watch the occasional game, as long as it’s a U.S. national team or, at times, Minnesota United. And that’s just because my brother-in-law took us to a game once. And that’ll probably be the last live game I go to as my tolerance for chanting, horn-blowing, and drumming wore very thin by the end of that game. If you’ve never been to a live soccer match before, they make those noises throughout the ENTIRE MATCH! I’m not kidding, it was even over the halftime break. It’s just not my game.

But a few weeks ago, when the U.S. Women’s team won the World Cup, it not only put soccer back in the headlines, but also brought to light the importance of strong, female role models to us all, especially aspiring young women. As the father of two daughters, I know the importance of good role models.

I’ve been fortunate to have many strong women in my life: my wife, my mother, family members and friends.

And the City of Wahpeton is privileged to have many influential women among its ranks. It starts at the top, with Darcie our City Auditor. City Hall is in good hands with her, Carla, Cheryl, Lynelle, Devy, and Diane. The Wahpeton PD touts Officers Brittany, Lisa, Sherri, Jamie, and administrators Gaylene and Kasey. And of course, council members Renelle and Tiana are city leaders and great representatives.

You can’t throw a stick around this town without finding a leading lady in some capacity. Business leaders, Parks and Rec, social services (Becky, Susan, Jayme – you all do a great job!), the Fire Department, the media, spiritual leaders, and soccer moms. Or in our case, baseball moms. Wahpeton is lucky to have you all!

Hey, speaking of baseball moms, I can’t finish without congratulating the Wahpeton 14U baseball team. They are state champs, regional champs, and potential national champs. Good luck Coach Kappes and all the players and coaches at the Babe Ruth World Series in Alabama. You’ve made Wahpeton proud, and no matter the outcome, we’re behind you the whole way. Good luck!

Chris DeVries is the Community Development Director for the city of Wahpeton. He can be reached at 701-591-2109 or chrisd@wahpeton.com.

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