The Beautiful Game, By Michael Quigley, Head of Upper School
Although the origin of the saying, The Beautiful Game, is disputed, most observers of international football (soccer here in the US), credit either the English announcer Stuart Hall or Brazilian footballer Didi for using the phrase to depict the most popular sport in the world. The Beautiful Game term is usually used to describe the very fluid almost ballet style of high-level footballers. Soccer at SDJA has always been a cornerstone of the athletic program and the 2015.16 season was no exception. How beautiful is was!
Our student athletes did not win a league championship in soccer this year, but something much more important occurred. The positive team dynamics, dedication and grit displayed by all five teams exemplified the true nature of interscholastic athletics that we value at SDJA. Case in point, the men’s high school program fielded varsity and JV squads. After many years of sustained quality play, with a few league titles won as well, the men’s program was moved up to compete in CIF Division – 3 and the highly competitive Coastal Conference – Coastal League. Under the tutelage of Head Coach Manny Diaz, Varsity Assistant Coach Fernando Alvarez and JV Head Coach Renato Sanchez the men’s team quickly established a growth-minded, supportive, selfless and gritty team dynamic. A high school of 187 students fielding a Division-3, Coastal League program is rare in San Diego but the Lions proved our school welcomed the challenge and relished the opportunity to compete week in and week out in close, hard-fought matches.
From an educator’s perspective, this approach to challenges is exactly what we aim for in our academic and co-curricular program. Collaborative, growth-minded, gritty and supportive are themes that permeate our classrooms, labs, music rooms, fields and courts. Interestingly, as I move about classrooms throughout the day, I witness so much of the same dynamic that I witnessed with the soccer team this year. It’s really no wonder that the team gelled so well and dedicated themselves to the new challenge facing the program. It is a Beautiful Game here at SDJA – both on the field and off.
Michael Quigley, Head of Upper School