Letting go . . . of unfinished business
Editor's note: During the 2017 season, Christan Shirk transitioned from Managing Editor to Special Consultant and Advisor. As the time in which he can pretty much do as he pleases on this website comes to a close, we'll indulge his need to seek closure through the writing of one more long-winded, detail-bloated article (his words!) chronicling his involvement with the website and sharing his insights and reflections on the site’s evolution. So bear with us as he takes a stroll down memory lane. And please take advantage of all the hyperlinks to archived content spanning the history of our website.
I had no idea where things would lead when I discovered now-defunct D3soccer.net and its accompanying D3 Soccer Message Board during the Fall 2001 season. As an engineer and nothing more than a rec-league player, I certainly couldn’t have imagined writing columns for the leading website dedicated to Division III soccer much less becoming its Managing Editor. I step back into a consultant and advisory role with mixed feelings as I weigh the accomplishments against the (yet) unfulfilled potential of the website. This is the story of (a) my journey from casual D-III soccer fan to former D3soccer.com Managing Editor, (b) the website’s evolution, growth spurts, and perseverance, (c) how the two became intertwined and finally (d) my need and struggle to untwine despite unfinished business.
D-III Soccer Addict
In the fall of 1998 after twenty months overseas and out of touch with Messiah and Division III soccer—with a slow and unreliable dial-up connection in post-war Bosnia, we just hoped all our e-mail would go through before the connection failed or timed-out!—I moved close to my alma mater, Messiah College. It wasn’t the same Messiah men’s soccer that awaited me on my return to the States. In the early to mid-90’s, Messiah seemed a step behind the elite programs, but now the Falcons were a year into the Coach Brandt era and quickly progressing toward their first national title. It didn’t take long until I was hooked and I would be among the immense travelling...[read more]