Goal Oriented How an Austin attorney lives and plays by the rules. RUDOLPH METAYER WAS THREE WHEN HE STARTED PLAYING SOCCER and eight when he officiated his first match. His motivation? Video games. “My dad told me that if I wanted to go ahead and buy Super Mario Bros. 2—I will never forget that—that I had to go make my own money,” Metayer said from his sixth-floor office in the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services building in Austin, where he works as an enforcement attorney. “I remember getting that check for like $300 [at the end of the season]. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m rich!’” Now 33, Metayer is still officiating soccer matches. On evenings and weekends, he can be found running up and down a field somewhere in Central Texas, refereeing games for one of a dozen different leagues and organizations, from middle schools to national development leagues. He doesn’t do it for the money anymore. Now, it’s about the love of the game and a desire to train young people. “I love the sport,” he said. “I’ve always loved the sport.” The son of Haitian immigrants, Metayer was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and grew up in Massachusetts and the North Texas city of Trophy Club. A trip with his father to the 1994 FIFA World Cup in Dallas only fueled his passion for soccer, and he spent his childhood playing and officiating recreational matches. He continued officiating through college, refereeing University of Texas intramural sports. Then, about six years ago, he volunteered to be a referee assignor for the Austin-area Wells Branch Soccer Association, where one of his daughters was playing, a move that would lead to even greater involvement with the sport. As an assignor, Metayer said he quickly grew tired of begging people to officiate games, so he decided to get the training required to earn his own referee badge. Today, he holds a Grade 7 badge through the U.S. Soccer Federation, which allows him to officiate higher-level matches such as the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, an elite youth league that serves as a feeder for the national team. He works his officiating into a busy schedule that includes his job, service as president of the Austin Black Lawyers Association, and—most important to him—raising three daughters with his wife, Leticia. Their oldest, 10- year-old Celeste, plays on a select soccer team and is already officiating matches like her father. His favorite compliment as a referee is when parents praise him for taking time to explain his decisions. “What’s the point of us making these calls if the kids don’t know what’s going on?” he said. “It’s their match. They need to know what’s going on and learn from that. It’s important. It goes back to teaching. I like teaching, and I like kids. I like working with kids. I think it helps you stay young.” He sees parallels between his roles as a referee and as an attorney. Both involve knowing the rules and how to enforce them. “To get good at any of these sports or to officiate these sports at a high level, you have to be a nerd,” Metayer said. “You have to be a nerd to learn the rules and, not only what the laws say, but the spirit of the laws themselves, the application. Just like you do in a courtroom.” LOWELL BROWN Take Me Higher How a Midland judge travels the globe one summit at a time. “IS THIS REALLY A GOOD IDEA?” Rob Junell asked himself as he attempted to summit Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere. It was a frigid day, with a 45-degree wind chill, back in December 2012, and the team Junell had joined for the 22,800-foot climb had decided to camp at 18,000 feet and wait out the 100-mph winds. “When it’s cold, you can bundle up and deal with the weather,” Junell said, “but you can’t deal with the wind. It’s very dangerous to summit.” Treacherous conditions have forced the U.S. district judge to ask himself that question on more than one occasion, but they haven’t deterred him from pursuing his passion. Junell, who lives in Midland, has been a sports enthusiast for years, even becoming an avid weekend skier when he was stationed in Europe during his time on active duty in the U.S. Army from 1970 to 1973. He has tried his hand at rodeo team roping, backpacking, and hiking. After a concussion and a separated shoulder from playing polo, however, his wife suggested he try something different. An opportunity presented itself in 2004, when Junell went to Bolivia to see his daughter who was in the Peace Corps and living there at the time. She convinced him to climb Mount Chacaltaya, which stands at 17,785 feet. Junell was hooked after that climb, and so was his wife. “After seeing my enthusiasm, Beverly encouraged me to pursue the sport,” he said. Since then, Junell has summited Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro (19,341 feet), Washington’s Mount Rainier (14,410 feet), Ecuador’s Cotopaxi (19,400 feet), and Nepal’s Imja Tse, also known as Island Peak (20,300 feet). He spent 17 days trying to summit Alaska’s Mount McKinley (20,320 feet), but the wind proved too formidable. One of Junell’s most impressive accomplishments was being the first person to summit Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas, 100 times. The peak, which is 8,751 feet, is located in West Texas’s Guadalupe Mountains National Park, where Junell has been a volunteer since 2009 and trains for future climbs. One day Junell realized he had climbed the peak 70 to 80 times, so he decided to keep track of his successful expeditions and see if he could do 100 summits. Junell climbs for the sheer pleasure and exhilaration it brings him, the friendships he makes along the way, and the beautiful places he visits. He also relishes the bonds he has forged climbing with his sons. “It’s been fun spending time with my sons,” Junell said, “not so much in a fatherand- son relationship but as teammates.” TERI RODRIGUEZ TEXAS PEOPLE Roland Love Winstead, P.C., Dallas Received the Crystal Hope Award in recognition of his donated legal work to the AIDS Interfaith Network for the past six years. AIN serves those living with HIV/AIDS and helps with prevention in the Dallas area. Matt Kyle Kyle Law Firm, New Braunfels and San Marcos Named the Small Business Person of the Year by the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce. The award is given to companies that provide local goods and services and strive to enrich the community. Judge Peter Sakai 225th District Court, San Antonio Received the Light for Families Award from the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences Texas Affiliate. The award recognizes people who provide a voice to families through their work or service. Joseph Gutheinz Gutheinz Law Firm, L.L.P., Friendswood Appointed to the Texas Commission on Fire Protection, which enforces statewide fire service standards and provides education and assistance to fire service personnel throughout Texas.
Published by State Bar of Texas. View All Articles.
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