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CLIFTON PARK: A family that plays together

This year, Helmut, now 46, was the tournament director.

"It's certainly been great to see a lot of the kids like my sons [Adam and Devon] really get involved in it and participate," Helmut said. "It's really pretty neat."

Adam, 13, and Devon, 11, are part of a third generation of Gerstenbergers to participate in the Clifton Park Soccer Club. Helmut's two daughters, Sabina, 21, and Erika, 19, also played.

Helmut explained the family's passion for soccer.

"It's something you can play for many years well into your 50s and 60s. When you get the ball, unlike baseball as an example, you're kind of the quarterback," Helmut said. "You can control the game because you as a player now have that ball by your feet."

More than 130 youth teams played around 400 games during last weekend's Clifton Park International Soccer Classic at the Clifton Park Commons.

Karl, now 73, sat under the shade of a golf cart as teenagers played soccer nearby.

"It's two totally different worlds; it's hard to explain what it was like as a child," Karl said. "But I think it's human nature to make the best of every situation."

He remains humble about his role in the soccer club and tournament.

"We're very proud of it and very happy about it; it's been very successful," Karl said. "It wasn't only me; there were many other people involved."

Karl said his grandson Adam reminds him of himself.

"When I see my grandson, that's the age I came alone to America," Karl said. "It was a different time in history, a different life."

Adam is living proof of that different life.

"I hear a lot of comments during the tournaments from the teams. [They say] 'How come you get a [golf] cart?'" Adam said. "I just say, 'Well, that's what I love about being a Gerstenberger.'""

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