For 37 years, he delivered the mail.

For many years, including some special times at Steinert High School, Joe Hogan delivered the goods in another venue.

The all-state soccer player set school and county scoring records and in his schools yearbook was known as Mr. Soccer.

Joe has worn a few uniforms through the years, including the vertical striped shirts of the Steinert soccer teams of the 1960s. He also wore the uniform for his country.

I got drafted, Hogan said. And still soccer remained a part of his life. I played at Fort Dix on the post team, he said. He was a special player there as he set a post record with 13 goals. I spent two-and-a-half years in Germany," Joe remembers. "I even played a few games on a team over there -- they had farm teams in little towns.

At the urging of a Great Aunt, who had a great idea for his future, he started a career as a postal worker. I liked it, he said. I wanted to be an iron worker but I had a Great Aunt that kept pushing me.

No one needed to push Joe on the soccer field, a place where he spent so many happy times.

The best part about soccer was the camaraderie, he said. All my friends played.

His high school experience was greatly enhanced by being a student-athlete.

Steinert High School has allowed me to have made some very good friendships, he said.

A teammate was partially responsible for another major portion of the life of Joe Hogan. I met my wife Susan through a friend Kenny Hesss sister, he said. Weve been married 39 years.

Joe was a standout on the 1965 squad that was the first SHS soccer team to qualify for the state tournament. To make the state tournament and get recognized was important, he said. The 65 Spartans played all the way into the final game and set the standard for most wins in a season with a 15-4-1 campaign.

He made the All-City first team along with teammate Fred Armenti and he earned statewide acclaim, too. A highlight make that four highlights was scoring four goals in a game against Notre Dame.

The center midfielder continued to play the sport that meant so much to him for as long as he could.

I played for the German Americans when I got out of the service, he said. I played up until I was 40-something.

He passed his love of soccer on to his children.

I coached my kids, said Joe, proud papa of Joseph, now 37; and Sarah, 34. My kids like the game also.

In addition to soccer, hes retired from work, too, after nearly four decades as a mailman.

I enjoy golfing, but Im not good at it, he said.

He certainly was good at soccer, very good indeed, which was a good thing for all of the many teams he was involved with through the years, especially those from Steinert.