Jenna Betti Memorial Tournament
Sep 28, 2014 11:11AM
● By Jennifer Neys
The Betti family teamed up with Diablo FC to create the first annual Jenna Betti Memorial Soccer Tournament. The tournament was held on August 16 and 17 and was created to celebrate the life of 14-year-old DFC Jenna Betti, who tragically passed away in March of 2014. She was a part of the Diablo FC G99 family as a center defender.
Over fifty U12 to U19 girls’ teams came to compete from all over the Bay Area and Sacramento. The event also included an extra team-building spirit challenge bonus night on August 16 at the Boatwright Youth Sports Complex in Concord. In addition to juggling and timed double plank challenges, the spirit challenges included PK (penalty kick) Wars. Four representatives from each team were invited to participate, with the winners in each age bracket taking home a "PK Wars Champion" t-shirt. DFC Galaxy player Sophia Jones participated in the competition. “I thought the PK wars was a great idea. When I took my first shot and missed, I started to cry because I felt like I was letting down Jenna, her family, and my team. As soon as I found out we were moving on, I sucked it up and made the rest of my shots because I knew I had something to fight for. It felt great to win!”
The two-day tournament was particularly impactful on players who knew Jenna personally. “I have known Jenna since elementary school and we played together on DFC’s Azzurri team. I felt the tournament brought my teammates and me closer together; we played harder and walked away knowing we gave it our all for Jenna. Being a part of the PK wars brought back memories of being with Jenna on the field, knowing how important it was for her to make every PK` and wanting to do the same in honor of her,” said DFC player Carly Agostino. For Santana Merryfield, memories of Jenna go back to playing together as 9-year-olds in a house league. “My old coaches Tom Brown and Chris Lindsey would always tell me what an amazing player she was. When I met her the next year, I found out what an amazing person she was, too. She was so happy and could always cheer me up. We were on the same team for four years,” Merryfield commented.
The Betti Family felt the event was a special way to process the pain of losing a daughter, a family member, a teammate and a friend. Through their loss of Jenna, they have reaffirmed that the connection and love we share with one another is the most important gift in life. It’s through their belief that we’re stronger together than we are apart that the inspiration of their non-profit, #hersmile, was created. Its mission is to inspire people who have had a tragedy by giving experiences or support that bring light and love. Through their sale of apparel, they have been able to raise charitable funds to give money to families in our communities that have experienced similar tragedies. To learn more, visit www.hersmile.org. Tournament results can be found at www.diablofc.org.