SOLANA BEACH — “It’s more about the journey and how people play, not the wins and losses,” Jeff Lyle, president of the Solana Beach Soccer Club, said when describing the philosophy of the league.
With that thought in mind, eight young athletes were honored with the Peter Schmid Sportsmanship Award during the annual board of directors meeting March 3 at Solana Vista Elementary School.
The award was established by Anthony and Amanda Schmid in honor of their son to continue to foster his love of soccer following his untimely death.
Coaches are encouraged to nominate one player who demonstrates good sportsmanship. Recipients are chosen by the board of directors for their citizenship, helpfulness, attitude and loyalty on and off the field.
Awards for the 2014 season went to Brynn Bogard, Gabby Conde, Keyli Garibay, Jack Hargis, Delaney How, Ava Jacobs, Jose Ramirez and Rubie Wexler.
“It was a hard choice but really the key word was sportsmanship,” Coach David Stapleton said about Ava. “She was someone the girls could always rally around. She had a lot of cheers. She made everybody feel comfortable.
“She had positive comments, even for the players on the other team when they scored,” Stapleton added. “She knew what a good goal was. Ava also showed a lot of concern when players were hurt.”
Coach Doug Gilbert described Delaney as “probably the most enthusiastic person I know.”
“She’s a real leader,” he added. “She stayed positive when we had a bad experience with another team. She told me, ‘We can only control our actions.’”
Coach Greg Short said he selected Keyli because she agreed to fill in as goalkeeper, a position she didn’t normally play.
“She wasn’t really happy about it, and I know she was scared. But she did a great job,” Short said. “She helped her team when they needed her even though she was really worried about letting them down.”
Brynn was honored for attending practices and games, even though she couldn’t play because of an injury.
“To me that really embodies what the Peter Schmid Award is all about,” her coach, Michael Husted, said.
Coach Rosa Ramos honored Jose and Jack for their loyalty, friendship, kindness and responsibility.
“He always thinks of others,” she said about Jose. “He said to me, ‘It doesn’t matter if I don’t go and play now. Just let the other kids play and have our team be strong.’”
Lyle also honored three coaches – Husted, David Inns and Paul Salgado — with the inaugural Scott Billington Memorial Award.
Billington, who served as club president from 2009 to 2013, passed away Jan. 15 at age 55 after a long battle with cancer.
“This is a bittersweet award,” Lyle said. “Scott personified what this club is all about.
“He had a tremendous impact on everybody he encountered,” he added. “If you met him for the first time you felt like he was your best friend. We miss him. He was a great man.”