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Staples Boys Soccer Team Honored For Off Field Excellence

Westport Sunrise Rotary today honored the Staples Boys Soccer team for their unselfish service to a teammate and his family last Wednesday.

Charlie Leonard, a friend and longtime teammate of Junior Varsity Captain Sebo Hood, rallied his Varsity and JV teammates to aid the Hood family after a family tragedy followed by a “trashing” of the family’s home by SuperStorm Sandy.

Coach Dan Woog texted 68 members of his three soccer teams, asking them to join in a clean up of the Hood’s home.  40 teammates, led by Leonard and Captains Joseph Greenwald and James Hickok, came to help. They aided the Hoods, then lent their shovels, wheelbarrows and backs to aiding nearby families.

Sunrise Rotary honors a Student of the Month for his/her contribution to the community beyond their schools, even beyond Westport. The guiding principle is Rotary International’s motto of “Service Above Self.” Honored students exemplify that goal. But this was the first time a group was honored for an ad hoc effort – here, assisting a “family member” in a time of need.

The three players were introduced by Reverend Ed Horne, who held the boys out as examples, while noting that “many other community members also pitched in.”  The team members were joined at the meeting by their parents, Coach Woog and Staples Principal John Dodig.

Leonard talked about “bonding with teammates and coaches,” and added that doing what they did was “a lot of fun and a great opportunity to help a teammate.”

Hickok offered condolences to the Hood family for the loss of an older son, then said the team did what they did “not with the idea that they might be rewarded, but they just wanted to help a teammate.” He credited Leonard for thinking of his teammate and getting the rest of the team to join in.

Greenwald talked about how “banding together” and helping out was “most rewarding.” He closed by thanking the club.

Sunrise Rotary, in fact, all of Westport, thanks you for showing your community what teamwork really is.

Roy Fuchs