Soccer players honored for community service

Cardinal Soccer BallBy Jane Clare Vosteen


There are many awards an athlete can earn while putting in time at the University of the Incarnate Word.

They can be recognized for athletic achievement by winning conference awards for defensive or offensive player of the week. Athletes can also be recognized for academic achievement as well, nabbing such titles as student-athlete of the year or Academic All-American. However, athletes in the business of community service often fall by the wayside.

On Tuesday, April 19, four members of the men’s soccer program received the Superintendent’s Award for volunteer work they performed at West Avenue Elementary School. Adam Gross and Jeff Boyer, both graduate assistants, were joined by players Chris Fidler and Jon Stephenson in accepting the award given annually to those who have done something to significantly benefit the North East Independent School District.

“We decided in the fall semester that we wanted to be more involved within the community,” Gross said. “One way to see this through was to provide free clinics to PE classes at local schools.”

Gross felt these clinics would best start to build community involvement. Indeed, the clinics are now in high demand among many local elementary schools.

This recent involvement is only the latest venture by the men’s soccer team. Earlier in the semester, the players earned community service hours by participating in the Basura Bash cleanup for the San Antonio River and for volunteering at the swimming and diving championships hosted off campus by UIW in March.

Next year the program will continue to offer soccer clinics to schools in the San Antonio area.

“We are extremely proud of our players’ volunteer work,” said Head Coach John Smith. “We feel it’s their responsibility as student-athletes to be involved in bettering their university and the community. We look forward to continuing our school program next year.”


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