The Soccer Side of Mr. Field: Physics Legend


Jamie Spelling

Mr. Field was perched comfortably in his usual position at the head of the classroom, his laptop open and glowing in the darkness of his room. Triggering the motion sensors as I walked in, the lights turned on and our interview began. Mr. Field’s love for physics is matter-of-factly known throughout the school. In a one-on-one interview with the legend himself, light is shed on a topic for which his love is less known: the game of soccer.

Mr. Field chose to wear jerseys far before he began wearing collared shirts—shirts he willingly admits his wife picks out for him twice a year: the first day of school and Back to School Night.

“I’ve played soccer since I was a little kid,” he says. “I played a lot of sports, but eventually soccer became my best and favorite.”

Just as Mr. Field began to further explain the details regarding his soccer career, two of his freshmen soccer players, Susie Goertz and Rebecca Seickel, busted into his room. They demanded both the attention and the imaginary microphone.

Goertz even asked, “Do you want me to do the interview for him? Ask me your first question. I got this, I promise,” she assured me.

So, I asked Goertz to describe Mr. Field’s high school soccer days. She began by describing him as “really good” with a starting offensive position on the varsity soccer team as a freshman.

“No, that’s not true,” Mr. Field interrupted.

Goertz quickly corrected herself, stating that he started sophomore year, a statement Mr. Field had to refute, as well. After a couple more failed attempts to correctly retell his stories, Mr. Field took back the reigns of the interview and set the record straight.

“I was best at soccer and I liked it a lot,” said Mr. Field. “I played in high school and was successful [there]. We had a really good team junior year. We won the sectional championship but lost the next game. It was a disappointing loss. We could’ve done better. We were that good.”

After high school, Mr. Field went on to continue his soccer career at Oberlin College.

“We were a good team at times… We were a mediocre team at times,” he said laughing. “But it was a very good experience for me.”

He continued playing in various men’s leagues post-college. In the beginning, he played up to eight times a week on different adult teams. Soon, Mr. Field married and started a family, which changed the order of his priorities.

“I used to play a lot,” he said. “After the first kid, I played a little less. After the second kid, a little less. After the third kid, I really don’t play much anymore.”

Mr. Field’s ultimate struggle is finding the balance between his three loves: soccer, family, and physics. In true physics fashion, Mr. Field leaves us with this analogy; “Life is like the Law of Conservation of Energy. You must prioritize what you do when. You must determine how much energy you put into each [activity]. You have to know when you need to work harder and when you can rest.”