EDITOR’S NOTE: Last week we reported on the establishment of the Sourwood Community Shield Bowl and community service elements at Charles D. Owen High School.
The men’s soccer game as part of this effort was played between Owen and Asheville Christian Academy, with Owen getting a goal by Caleb Ford with 1:28 remaining in the second overtime for a 2-1 victory, but that is certainly not the primary story.
Owen men’s head soccer coach Tate McQueen reports what happened after the contest:
“We had amazing fellowship after the match and are on our way to doingspecial work for the Special Olympic Soccer Program in Buncombe County through the new partnership between Owen and Asheville Christian Academy. Before the match the teams, coaches and referees were photographed with Greg Mace, Buncombe County Special Olympics Soccer Coordinator.
“After the match, Owen returned with the Sourwood Community Shield Bowland put it to work at the junior varsity football game, collecting $302.54 in donations for the Buncombe County Special Olympics Soccer Program. This was the first of many times the ‘trophy’ will pass through the hands of our community to raise not only the much needed funds, but it will also serve to raise awareness for the incredible work that Buncombe County Special Olympics does.
“In the coming weeks the players and coaching staffs for Owen and ACA will come together again, this time to put on a soccer clinic for the Buncombe County Special Olympics participants. Players will serve as coaching instructors and this will function as asend off soccer camp for the Special Olympics soccer team in advance of their state games in November.
“During Senior Night at Owen, against Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy, Special Olympics players will escort our players during introductions and play a 12 minute match at halftime.
“We are hopeful that this simple gesture of service and the introduction of an ongoing long-term service component between two competitors will be adopted throughout the state and that Special Olympics and their Project Unity Program will see new relationships
created across all of North Carolina. While we compete against each other on the field of play, we join forces off the field to give back to our community, instill powerful values like empathy, compassion and leadership with our student athletes. While Owen won the game, it was secondary to the greater victory of coming together to connect with our community through the Spirit of Soccer.
“For more information, contact coach Tate MacQueen at 828-319-9052.”