Annual soccer tournament commemorates fallen K-Stater

K-State Men's Club Soccer midfielder Ulrich Sinefeu, freshman in electrical engineering, attempts to bring down a lob pass as he presses past a Texas defender in the second half of the men's team's 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Longhorns in group play of the Ed Chartrand Memorial Soccer Tournament Apr. 16, 2016, in Memorial Stadium. (Parker Robb | The Collegian)

The K-State Ed Chartrand Memorial Soccer Tournament, held annually to commemorate the death of Ed Chartrand, former K-State soccer player, took place April 15-17 at K-State’s Memorial Stadium and Frank Anneberg Park.

Art Chartrand, 1980 alum and Ed’s brother, said for that 37 years, the tournament has allowed soccer players from across the nation to convene in celebration of not only the game, but of Ed “Fast Eddy” Chartrand’s life.

Art said Ed acquired the nickname “Fast Eddy” because of his speed on the field.

Ed attended K-State from 1974-78. He was a member of the K-State soccer club throughout his college career and was an avid promoter of the sport. Serving as the club’s appointed public relations person, he painted posters to promote games, organized a 24-hour soccer marathon and helped earn funds for the team, according to the Ed Chartrand Memorial Tournament website.

On the evening of May 18, 1979, Ed collapsed in the hallway of his parents’ home after getting ready for bed. He never regained consciousness and was removed from life support on May 20, 1979, just hours after he was scheduled to accept his diploma at his graduation ceremony from K-State, according to the website. Doctors never found a cause of death.

Art said after his brother’s death, soccer players from the club approached the Chartrand family to ask if their club could name a tournament at K-State after Ed. The tournament was founded in 1979 and has occurred every year since.

Zoe Conde, freshman in marketing and current member of the K-State women’s soccer club, said playing in this year’s tournament was special for her. She said before each game there was a Fort Riley color guard presentation and the national anthem was sang.

“Overall, it was such a fun weekend, and it was great how much support we got from K-State and how many teams participated from different schools,” Conde said.

Dennis Cook, tournament director, has worked with the tournament since 1980 and said he enjoys being able to help make something great possible year after year.

“It’s great,” Cook said. “It’s a really cool thing to be a part of.”

According to Art, the tournament is heavily funded through the Chartrand Foundation, a nonprofit organization established 12 years ago by the Chartrand family. The Chartrand Foundation not only helps fund and make possible the annual soccer tournament, it provides athletic equipment to children across the globe from Shawnee, Kansas, to Guatemala and Romania.

Art said the inspiration for the Chartrand Foundation’s program to help children with sports equipment occurred when he noticed children in a neighborhood playing basketball on a goal that was severely malformed.

“We couldn’t change the world, but we could change that,” Art said.

According to its website, the Chartrand Foundation uses sports as a medium to provide opportunities to kids who deserve them.

“We’re not curing cancer or achieving world peace, but we’re helping people,” Art said.