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The WIAA believes that school activities matter, and here's why...

STUDIES SUPPORTING THE VALUE OF SCHOOL PROGRAMS 
READ:  The Case for School Activities
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Aaron Davenport
Cedarcrest

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Jade
Chamberlin
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September 2017

Jamie Townsend
Ellen Ochoa MS

Natalie George
Jenkins JH

  

 
Sydney Gormley LAKEWOOD HIGH SCHOOL


Photo by: Matt Wright

Going into the fall of her sophomore year, Sydney Gormley had participated on the Lakewood High School varsity track and field team and played, played in both the marching and concert band, all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. But Gormley wanted a new challenge that fall – she wanted to be a member of the Cougars football team.

Gormley approached Lakewood Head Varsity Football Coach Dan Teeter before tryouts took place in 2015 and Teeter welcomed Gormley to try out for the team.

“She came and she just kept coming,” Teeter said. “She’s the only (girl) that’s ever stuck with it.”

Gormley spent her sophomore year learning the ins and outs of place kicking on the junior varsity team. By her junior year, she earned a spot on varsity special teams as a kicker.

Coach Teeter describes Gormley as “unflappable,” as he recalled one of his first memories of her during a post-practice team competition.

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“She was absolute nails,” Teeter said. “There were guys lining either side of her approach up to the ball, just yelling and trying to intimidate and get her to miss the kick. She just made kick after kick, there was nothing you could do to get in her head.”


Photo by: Matt Wright

Gormley’s favorite high school memory comes from her junior year during the Homecoming game. Trailing 22-23 with two seconds left in the game, she was called upon to kick her first-ever field goal in a game, and bring the Cougars a win. She remembers that moment, laughing, and how she repeated “don’t miss” over and over in her head. But when she line up for the kick, she knew she was not going to miss the opportunity.

“Of all the times to do something, now is the time to make the field goal,” Gormley told herself.

And that’s exactly what she did. She sent the ball through the uprights as the buzzer went off, completing a 32-yard field goal to win the game 25-23.

Her performances during the 2016 season earned her the Special Teams MVP Award for Lakewood. Her game-winning moment, and the season as a whole, was the culmination of her hard work on the field which led to that moment. Effort that was mirrored by her discipline off the field.

Amidst her busy activities schedule, Gormley is also taking classes through the Running Start program at Everett Community College. She is on track to complete her Associate’s degree by the time she graduates high school, but she admits the balance is difficult. She is thankful for the positive relationship she has with Coach Teeter, who understands her busy schedule, and tries to accommodate for her when he can.


Photo by: Matt Wright

Coach Teeter, to the same effect, discussed how activities teach mental balance, and how it transfers over characteristics like discipline, and how to handle adversity.

“We can help these kids develop into great people as we go -help them learn life lessons that are going to help them be better parents, spouses, workers in their work environments,” Teeter said.

Gormley is considered a “Lakewood Lifer” meaning she has spent her whole life in the Lakewood School District.

“We all knew each other over the years,” Gormley explains, “so when I decided to join football, they were all very welcoming and very helpful to me. It takes everyone working together and trusting each other to make a good football team.”

Gormley admits she isn’t sure what the future holds for her, but knows that she wants to attend college to keep learning, and play college sports.

 

 

 

  
 
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T-Strong at Kent Meridian

While sports are a natural arena for rivalries and competition, the Kent Meridian Football and Cheer programs have used this season as a chance to promote unity and sportsmanship throughout the North South Puget Sound League (NSPSL).

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The Royals cheer squad and football team brought attention to Childhood Cancer Awareness month this September by implementing a "#TaylorStrong" awareness campaign.

A member of the KM coaching staff has a family friend whose son Taylor was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  The “T-Strong” campaign was started to support his fight. Taylor loves to watch student-athletes in uniform under the Friday Night Lights. These student-athletes have become heroes to Taylor, and the KM Royals have chosen to show Taylor how many “heroes” he has here in Washington State.

Cheer coaches Erica Wolfskill and Gerald Spalti explained the campaign further, “As a way to spread awareness and show this little boy that we have his back, KMHS Cheer and Football teams have been meeting their opponents’ mid-field, prior to kick off, to take one massive photo for Taylor.” 

 Amidst the fiery emotions that come along with competition, Kent Meridian and its opponents have created space for cross-team camaraderie and uniting for an altruistic movement.  
“While yes, we are bringing awareness, we are also showing that all schools in this league can unite for a cause. We are always looking for ways to promote and encourage sportsmanship…what better way to do so than to unite for a cause.”

Throughout the season, visiting coaches and players from schools such as Auburn Riverside, Hazen, Kentlake and Mt. Rainier have participated in the campaign by joining the Royals at the 50-yard line for a pre-game photo.

“This campaign has made so much of an impact that the new slogan for every game is to be “T-Strong," said Wolfskill and Spalti.

The KM Royals hope to use “#Taylorstrong” as a symbol of awareness for all students, regardless of their challenges, and to show that no matter what happens on the field, it's what you do off the field that can really make a difference.
 

ACTIVITIES MATTER BLOG ARCHIVE
 
 
Washington Interscholastic Activities Association  |   435 Main Ave S   |  Renton, WA 98057  |  (425) 687-8585  |  © 2017
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