Students ‘play’ with two star athletes who are winners both on and off the field by Zandra Wolfgram
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.
Cobi Jones, 47, is arguably 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 No. 13 is the only number in club history to be retired.
A 2011 U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame inductee, 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. 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.
Kari Miller, 40, is a world champion who went on to become a three-time Paralympian — winning gold in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and silver twice in both the games in London (2012) and Beijing (2008).
Miller lost both her legs when a car she was in was hit by a drunk driver while she was on leave from military duty in 1999. 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 awarded as Paralympian of the year.
Both acclaimed athletes visited Seaside Neighborhood School to meet and greet with 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 successful role models such as Olympic and Paralympic athletes 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,” says Mixson. “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 of athletes were excellent speakers who inspired our students to do their best in athletics and in life.”