HS Notebook: Stamping out racism

HS Notebook: Stamping out racism
by Will Parchman
October 30, 2014

The prevalence of racism among fans in world soccer in a legitimate issue. During a game last April, a spectator threw a banana at Barcelona fullback Dani Alves, who calmly defused the situation by taking a bite before taking a corner kick. It sparked worldwide condemnation and brought light to a real issue, but it was just part and parcel of being a black player on a racially charged planet.

There’s largely a “that can’t happen here” sense among a majority of American soccer fans, who’ve done admirable work in smoothing over the tension that bubbles into such vehement actions elsewhere. But two recent incidents on the high school level prove the germ of racism is hardly dead and buried in American soccer.

The first occurred just weeks ago when a student section in Pennsylvania showered a West African player with chants of “Ebola,” leading to the resignation of several members of the coaching staff. The second, which is sure to get increased national attention as it becomes more infamous, occurred at a recent boys game in Maine. According to a parent, a group of fans from Scarborough High School taunted opposing players with shouts of “Go back to Africa,” and waving American flags while yelling “We’re USA, you’re not.”

The Scarborough AD defended his student section by stating that practice of waving flags was simply “FIFA game behavior,” which is problematic considering FIFA’s aforementioned issues with racism among fans. And that’s to say nothing of their comments.

Moments like these need to be dragged into the spotlight and cut down before they have a chance to germinate. Countries develop fans in much the same way they develop players; by reinforcing positive behaviors early on and stamping out the negative ones. Here’s hoping that’s what happens here. 

Two Utah freshmen hit state title-winning goals

Utah is one of the biggest states to have already concluded its fall girls season, and it hit a thrilling climax over the weekend. The state’s five classifications each crowned their champions, but two did so in particularly unique fashion. Both the 2A and 5A state titles were won by freshmen. 

The 2A finale came down to Rowland Hall and Waterford, and Rowland Hall trailed until Jessica Sterrett scored off a breakaway to even the score at 1-1. The game stayed that way until freshman Airam Perez scored on a lob from deep with just 10 minutes to play to give the Winged Lions the state title.

Meanwhile, just a day earlier, Davis knocked down Lone Peak 2-1 to win the girls 5A championship, the school’s first 5A title in 19 years in the state’s largest classification. Juniors Regyn Youngberg and Ireland Dunn were critical in the victory, as the Deseret News notes, and the two connected for Davis’ first goal for a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute.

Davis took that lead into the second half when Youngberg popped up again, this time in the box to draw a penalty in the 55th minute. She was injured in the process, and coach Souli Phongsavath opted to roll the dice with freshman Olivia Wade from the spot. It was no sweat for the freshman, who pushed in her attempt for a 2-0 lead that ultimately proved to be the winner after Lone Peak scored in 64th. 

Wade, a three-star recruit, is the No. 78 player in the 2018 class, and having a state title-winning goal on your resume before your second year of high school is a fine way to put your name on the map.

Keep it locked on TopDrawerSoccer.com in the coming weeks to learn all about the happenings of the nation’s top high school sides. Be sure to visit our FAB 50 rankings for boys and girls to track which teams snap up state titles and which sides are highly ranked for the fast approaching winter season.

Related Topics: HS Notebook
Trending Videos
IMG Academy Top 200/150 Rankings
see full ranking:
Boys Girls