WILMINGTON, MA — It was announced this week Wilmington High School’s Girls Soccer team has earned the Eastern Massachusetts Girls Soccer Association Program of Excellence.
The goal of the Eastern Massachusetts Girls Soccer Coaches Association (EMGSCA) is to recognize high school soccer excellence, on and off the field. The Eastern Massachusetts region represents over 4,000 players on 200 different teams.
This year, the EMGSCA challenged high school teams to become Programs of Excellence, requiring them to show proof of commitment, player recognition, academic success, coaching education, community service, sportsmanship, and character. EMGSCA had eight teams meet those criteria. When looking at the winners, not only did they excel off the field, they also excelled on it.
Wilmington was one of just eight schools to win this inaugural award, joined by Hopkinton, Hull, Mansfield, Marshfield, Medway, Needham, and Winchester.
In Wilmington, coach Sue Hendee has taught in the district for 32 years and has been the head girls varsity soccer coach for 31. A member of the Massachusetts Coaches Hall of Fame and the 2018 winner of the United Soccer Coaches High School Coach of Significance Award, Coach Hendee also serves on the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletics Association Soccer Committee and is the Vice-President of EMGSCA. Over the past eight years, Wilmington has won seven league titles, been a runner-up in the state final, and has graduated Notre Dame starter and national pool player Olivia Wingate. She is the embodiment of commitment to excellence.
“In order for a program to be successful, a high level of commitment must be made by everyone involved. Players must be physically and mentally prepared and coaching staff must be willing to put in extra hours to help their players develop as individuals and a team. It is also essential that there is a balance of hard work and having fun. Several years ago, we established core values for the program which serve as reminders throughout the season as to the levels of commitment needed to be a part of a successful team,” said Coach Hendee.
The inaugural EMGSCA Program of Excellence Award recipients not only found success on the field, but they led the way off the field. The attachment to their community, the leadership roles they hold in school, and the character they build in the grueling fall sports season is something difficult to replicate. With all this off the field success, the coaches and programs can also boast about their on-field success. Between the eight teams in 2018 they won one state championship, one regional championship, had two regional finalists, five league championships, four Second EMass Team All-Stars, seventeen First Team EMass All-Stars, seven All-State Players, and one All-New England Player. They also posted a combined record of 103-30-22 in the fall.
When reviewing these awards, one thing became clear. Teams that find success off the field appear to find success on the field.
(NOTE: The above press release is from the Eastern Massachusetts Girls Soccer Association Program.)
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