By Courtney Clark
Theo Kouremetis has been volunteering with youth through the Florida Elite Soccer Academy (formerly Creeks Athletic Association Soccer) since 1994, serving as director of concessions, field marshal and referee assignor. Originally from Greece and then Connecticut, Kouremetis fell in love with St. Johns County when he moved to Jacksonville for his career.
In his free time, Kouremetis relaxes by the beach, checks out local restaurants and spends time with his family.
What do you like about St. Johns County, and what makes it different from other areas?
Jacksonville has so much to offer and St. Johns fits the type of community my family was looking for in regards to schools, community atmosphere and close proximity to the beach. Fast forward three decades and it’s still home! Neighbors wave, the community is clean, neighborhoods preserve a nature-like setting and the school system is excellent. What’s not to love?
What’s a favorite story you have of an experience with the youth while volunteering?
Soccer can be such a focused sport that sometimes we forget how hard our players train to become such great players. But on those rare occasions the parents get invited onto the field for a kids versus parents match, it becomes a “stop and watch the fun” moment. There’s nothing like watching the kids score again and again on their parents while laughing all the way to the goal!
What are the greatest rewards that come with volunteering for the Academy?
Watching a young referee gain self-confidence and skill through refereeing. To guide them through the processes of becoming young adults and learning a skill set that will carry them into adulthood with greater self-reliance in their decision-making process, conflict management and a great supplemental income for decades to come. Their commitment makes me proud to be a part of their success.
What do you do when you aren’t at the soccer fields?
My youngest joined the Cub Scouts this year. We did not have this in Greece so we’ve been enjoying the activities with the den, especially the camping and the hiking. I’m also involved with the Promise to Kate organization in support of a good friend’s daughter, Kate, who is affected by Myotonic Dystrophy.
What’s a little-known fact about you?
I’ve cooked for Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, as well as Valerie Bertinelli, Frank Gorshin, Rodney Dangerfield, Neil Sedaka and President George W. Bush.
Photo courtesy Theo Kouremetis
Theo Kouremetis and son, Cole.