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On Thursday, July 26, Challenge FC lost a fine young player, Connor Mantsch, in a tragic plane crash in Sedona, Arizona. Connor was getting ready to start his third year on the Flame.
Connor was a truly amazing human being. Anybody who knew Connor understood how unique and special he was. Connor was an incredible musician, a strong athlete, and a great student. He had the most infectious smile, heart-warming giggle, and was known for his funny sense of humor. He preferred the natural world to video games, kept his gardens neat and lush, and had a mind for creativity and inventions that is warmly remembered by his friends and family. Connor had uncommon integrity and character, and his dedication to excellence was evident in all that he attempted. Connor was thoughtful and a student of life. He was a dreamer and had a clear vision of his future. He found success in what he did and has been described as a “remarkable young mind."
Connor will be remembered by his coaches and team mates as the player they could count on to bring 100% effort and enthusiasm to every practice and every game. When the coaches saw the team's effort decline, they would look to Connor to provide the spark needed to turn up the intensity. Connor was quiet and introspective initially, but his team came to know the very loyal, loving and dedicated friend that quickly emerged.
Our hearts go out to his parents, Shari and Bryan, and we are grateful to them for sharing their son with us. A service in reflection and celebration of his life will be held on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 4:00 p.m. at the First Unitarian Church, 3701 Carlisle Blvd. NE, Albuquerque.