A win to last a lifetime: Liberty Airman scores medal on USAF soccer team

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Dawn M. Weber
  • 48th Fighter Wing Public Affaris
After sorting through hundreds of applications, the U.S. Air Force soccer team selected 36 Airmen from across the entire Air Force to report to Joint Base San Antonio Lackland, Texas, to try out for the USAF men’s soccer team.

Week by week, the group was narrowed down. After the final cut, Airman 1st Class Timothy Bettes, 48th Force Support Squadron career development technician, found himself a new member of the USAF team. The team participated in three-a-day practices beginning at 4 o’clock in the morning.

“I enjoyed the competition of the tryouts,” Bettes said. “I gave it all I had each and every day. Since I began playing soccer, my goal has been to reach the highest level I could, making the Air Force men’s soccer team, I reached my goal.”

Bettes began playing soccer at the age of four years-old. He credits his brother, Nickolas, with getting him into the game.

“I was the typical younger sibling. Everything my brother did, I had to do as well,” Bettes said. “I wanted to be just like him. I’ve looked up to him my whole life.”

After completing their regular season games, the team traveled to Fort Benning, Georgia, to compete in a week-long tournament for the Armed Forces Men’s Soccer Championships. On May 13, 2016, the Air Force played against the U.S. Navy team, 3-2 to win the championship game.

“We hold this truly special bond,” Bettes said. “I was a part of a team, a brotherhood, we trained harder than any of the other branches and it showed, and together we reached our goal and brought home the gold.”

Bettes said he will remember this experience for the rest of his life. The bond and camaraderie that he had with his teammates will last him a lifetime.