A Game Plan for Good Character through Sports

A Game Plan for Good Character through Sports
Posted on 09/30/2019
Elmira Express Boys Varsity Soccer Program

Building strong character in students is one of the most valued opportunities we have through school sports. In fact, Elmira City School District was recently recognized for the fourth consecutive year by NYSPHSAA for the Award of Excellence for Exemplary Display of Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity.

The Elmira Express Soccer programs, led by Varsity Coaches Derek Hamilton and Zachary Sarno, are shining examples of character education and sportsmanship. Express Girls Soccer program has an outstanding overall season record of 8-3-1, going 2-0 last week beating Johnson City 16-0 and Horseheads 4-0. Currently tied for first place in the STAC West, the Girls Express Varsity Soccer program has won eight straight STAC West Titles, and three Section IV Titles in recent years.

It is also no secret that the Express Boys Soccer program is successful on the field, with an overall 2019 season record of 6-4-1 to date. And just this past weekend (September 28) soccer stand-out Noah Sperduto became Elmira Express all-time leading scorer for boys’ soccer with his 65th goals (with a few more games to go in regular season).

The Soccer teams have certainly gotten the attention from fans and opponents for their talent on the field but the programs’ focus remains on what student athletes are doing off the field. Character Education is one of the most important lessons the program brings. For example, each year the Express Soccer programs play a Pink Out game to support Breast Cancer Awareness. And for the past three years, the Elmira Express Boys Varsity soccer team has played a game against a group of younger kids. The two teams played for an hour at Eldridge park soccer fields.

Soccer Varsity GirlsOur Girls Varsity Soccer team is building moral among the rising generation as well. Several parents took notice to the full Express Varsity Team as they sat along the sidelines of an U8 team game. The Varsity athletes clapped and cheered to support the little players, serving as nothing short of heroes.

“We aren’t building teams, we are building a programs,” says Varsity Boys Soccer Coach, Derek Hamilton.

“In Elmira, we believe in teamwork and sportsmanship both on and off the field. We are extremely proud of our student’s sportsmanship,” says Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics, Tom Morrell.

When the game is played with good sportsmanship all around, it’s a better experience for players, coaches, fans and referees. Our Express Teams play with integrity by winning and losing the right way, knowing and following the rules, respecting the referees and putting ‘we’ before ‘me.’