Seaside School is on the ball, so to speak. Students at both campuses—Seaside Neighborhood School and Seacoast Collegiate High School—got a chance to “play around” with two stellar Team USA athletes when it hosted U.S. soccer star Cobi Jones and Paralympian volleyball gold medalist Kari Miller.
Jones, 47, is easily one of the best soccer players the U.S. has ever produced. A native of California, he is simply known as a sports legend, scoring the first goal in Los Angeles Galaxy club history and maintaining the title of the longest standing member and lead scorer of the Major League Soccer dynasty. He spent 15 seasons with the team and his number 13 is the only one in club history to be retired.
A 2011 US Soccer Hall of Fame inductee and the CONCACAF representative for the 2010 World Cup Draw in Germany, Jones is a two-time Major League Soccer Cup winner (2002 and 2005) with a storied international career with the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team. A permanent fixture from 1992 to 2004, Jones played in three World Cups (1994, 1998 and 2002).
He amassed 164 caps for the U.S., representing the country more than any other male player in history, scoring 15 goals and 22 assists—the second most in the National Team record books. Jones also was a member of the 1992 U.S. Olympic Soccer Team. After retiring from the field, he went on to be a successful coach, sports broadcaster and entrepreneur.
Miller, 40, is a world champion that went on to become a three-time Paralympian, winning gold in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and silver twice in both the London (2012) and Beijing (2008) games.
Miller lost both her legs during a leave from military duty in 1999, when a drunk driver hit a car she was in. She started competing for Paralympic Games in 2007, where she won a silver medal for her participation at Sitting Volleyball Invitational. Her illustrious career began, and in 2009, she was honored as Paralympian of the year.
Both acclaimed athletes came to Seaside School to meet and greet students, provide demonstrations of their skills, offer up tips and autographs as well as motivational talks about each of their personal sports journeys.
Seaside Neighborhood School principal Kim Mixson says hosting such successful role models is just another way Seaside School lives its mission by creating a positive and engaging campus atmosphere.
“Having the chance to meet gold medal Olympic-level athletes in person is extraordinarily inspiring to anyone, but especially to students,” she says. “When our students can meet and talk with someone who is a highly accomplished winner whom they admire, their lofty dreams can become achievable goals that are much closer in reach. Both athletes were excellent speakers who inspired our students to do their best in athletics and in life.”
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