SOLANA BEACH — As a recreational organization the Solana Beach Soccer Club avoids putting an emphasis on the final score of the games.
“That doesn’t mean we don’t want to win,” Jeff Lyle, club president, said during the annual board of directors meeting March 1 at Solana Vista Elementary School. “But how you play in terms of sportsmanship can affect the end result.
“And the character part is something that will stay with these athletes forever,” he added.
With that introduction five young players were honored with the Peter Schmid Sportsmanship Award, 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 players who demonstrate 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 2015 season went to Olivia Grimstad, Vivian Kowieski, Juliet Quinney, Milo Rikos and Sophie Williams.
“We had a team full of amazing girls but these two young ladies stood out week after week, practice after practice, game after game,” Coach Lisa Wexler said about Sophie and Juliet.
They would gather equipment without being asked to do so, were always on time and ready to go and showed “100 percent respect for themselves, their teammates and their coaches,” added Wexler, who coached the under-16 team that went on to win the league championship for their division.
Coach Randy Jacobs said Olivia always had a smile on her face, a terrific attitude and a willingness to play any position.
“This is what every coach wants,” he said. “Olivia would not complain. … She was always helpful when practice was over … and most importantly she was always a good sport, even when we would lose. To me that is what determines real character.”
David Stapleton, who coached the under-10 girls with Jacobs, said Vivian demonstrated all the qualities of the Peter Schmid Sportsmanship Award.
“She had spirit, teamwork, selflessness and a great attitude,” he said. “There was never a complaint, and when we were down as a team she could pick up the mood for all of us.
“She was a leader by example and had a great sense of humor,” he added. “You were a joy to have on the team and everyone was happy when you were there.”
Amy Bryan, who coached the under-8 division, described Milo as “universally supportive of his teammates and coaches.”
“Regardless of the score, his teammates’ abilities, the temperature, Milo is always 100 percent focused on the fun of the game,” she said.
During one of the few winning games her team had last season, Milo was concerned that his opponents might be feeling bad and asked the coach what they could do to help.
“It is an absolute treat to coach this child and I know his future is bright,” she said. “Milo thanks me after each game and practice. Today I’d like to thank him instead for showing me how fun coaching can be.”
A surprised and honored Lyle received the second annual Scott Billington Memorial Award, which was created to pay tribute to the former president, who passed away last year at age 55 after a long battle with cancer.
Billington is described as “a tireless supporter of the community” whose “genuine interest in others made everyone feel special around him.”
The award recipient is chosen for leadership, selfless enthusiasm and contributions to the club that honors Billington’s spirit.