He was a Pennsylvania boy who learned a new sport while he was overseas and decided to introduce it to his new home in the Magic City.
On Nov. 29, Mike Fedorchak was honored by the North Dakota Youth Soccer Association, with his induction into that group's Hall of Fame.
Michelle Weishaar, an official with the association, presented Fedorchak with the honor, said Fedorchak's wife, Betty, who was also present.
Submitted Photo - - Above is the plaque awarded to Mike Fedorchak for his involvement in youth soccer and his induction into the North Dakota Youth Soccer Association.
"I wasn't quite expecting it. It's nice to acknowledge the fact that pioneers in North Dakota are being recognized. ... I was quite chuffed," Mike Fedorchak said, using a British slang term for "satisfied."
Fedorchak most likely learned the term during his time in Bedfordshire, England, as a member of the U.S. Air Force. It was there that he became entranced with soccer, or "football" as it is known on the other side of the pond.
"Mike just fell in love with the game over there," Betty Fedorchak said.
"It's a beautiful game," he added.
In 1976, the Fedorchaks moved to Minot, where Mike was stationed at Minot Air Force Base. The base, he said, was lacking one thing that was important to him: soccer.
Taking the initiative, he established a soccer program at the base's youth center, as well as in Minot. His soccer outreach wasn't just limited to Minot, however.
"I offered referee clinics in the eastern part of the state and licensed referees and coaches, and also got Special Olympics in North Dakota involved in soccer," he said.
George McCabe, a World Cup referee, assessed Mike for his FIFA re-certification into the world of referees, Betty Fedorchak said.
She added that their son, Michael Fedorchak, also got involved in the game and it was during so that one such memory stuck out -- the time that Michael broke his father's nose.
Mike had been refereeing a game when young Michael had a free kick. During the free kick, the ball strayed and hit Mike square in the nose, breaking it in the process.
"It was front page of the paper," she recalled. "He's experienced it all. He did a great job."