By Nancy Covert
Steilacoom High School’s Boys Soccer team recently earned a county sportsmanship award. The honor was presented June 9 by the Pierce County Referees Association in recognition for the team’s sportsman-like behavior during this year’s competition.
“The philosophy which SHS principal Jan McCrimmon works to instill in the kids,” said SHS’s soccer coach Dan McLaughlin (pictured above), “is making its way from the classroom onto the soccer field.”
“It’s a philosophy of excellence‚Äîfor the kids to compete as hard as they can with dignity and sportsmanship,” he continued. It’s a value system about athletics (and how a player conducts himself during a sporting event) becoming an extension of classroom learning.
McLaughlin, who’s coached boys’ soccer at the school (42 youths) for six years says that during that time the team has received only one “red card” penalty. He’s coached the girls’ team (32 young women) for five years.
Despite having a “young” team this past season, McLaughlin says that he didn’t have any problems. A big factor with the team’s success this year, he added, was having leadership from four senior players: Darrin Humphrey, Kyle Woodruff, Collin McCarthy and Joshua Beasley.
“Those fellows provided great leadership this year.”
An positive athletic program, he continued, “is good for the school. Players learn valuable lessons that can not be taught in a classroom setting.”
The association honor was accepted by Anthony Gonzales, a freshman varsity player, on behalf of the team.
The County Referees Association supervises all soccer play throughout the county; for both school district and private club soccer matches.
Note: McLaughlin will be taking soccer paraphernalia along on an upcoming church mission trip to Mexico in early July. About 47 people, of whom half are students, will travel to Mexico to help build a community center for a small fishing village, population about 2,000.