Quaker Nation was out in force on Lake Avenue for the October 31 M.I.A.A. JV Championship game against Boys Latin. Among the cheering fans was Upper School Principal Steve McManus, who offered these thoughts in a message to the Upper School community. With his permission we share them with you:
I know many of you were there this afternoon to cheer our Boys JV Soccer team as they faced the heavily favored Boys Latin Lakers in the MIAA Championship game. And what an afternoon it was! The task was a tall order for the Quakers -- to upset the undefeated Lakers on their home turf—but our boys were up to the challenge. Brimming with confidence from their 5-2 dismantling of the Saints of St Mary’s [on Tuesday], the Quakers in their austere and simple white kits played 80 minutes of tough-as-nails soccer and held the Lakers scoreless.
The first two overtime periods ended in deadlock 0-0 despite numerous chances, shots rattling off crossbars, and nifty saves by both keepers. It came down to PKs when, as every English football fan knows all too well, anything can happen. Both teams were perfect through 6 rounds. Then, on the 7th PK for BL, freshman keeper Sam Whitman '22 made a glorious stop to put the Quakers in position to win. With daylight fading into dusk, fellow freshman Henry Sellinger '22 then walked to the spot with calm, purpose, and icewater in his veins, placed the ball just so, and on the whistle struck an absolute beauty past the Laker keeper. Quakers win. The ensuing melee and field storming was a beautiful sight to behold. Drain the Lake, indeed!
However, the best moment for me can be seen in the video replay on the Quaker Nation instagram/twitter page that captured the whole proceedings. At about 9:29, Sam Whitman extricates himself from the euphoric and congratulatory mob of teammates and fans to go and console the Laker goalkeeper with a quick embrace and pat on the shoulder. That showed absolute class, humility, and professionalism. Am I proud of the coaching staff and boys for the hard work, grit, and toughness they have shown all season long? For sure. Am I happy to beat BL a second year in a row? You better believe I am. But I have to admit, I am about as proud of that act of empathy and sportsmanship by Sam toward his fellow competitor as I am getting to hoist another championship banner in the gym. Congrats Boys JV Soccer. MIAA B Conference Champions 2018-19!