Following the unexpected passing of 38-year-old Miami Trace School District Assistant Boys’ Soccer Coach Sean Sweeney, various fundraisers have been set up in efforts to assist his family. The first fundraiser is a T-shirt sale beginning Monday.
The T-shirt sale will last from Monday, May 3 through May 21, according to Kyler Conn, a prior athlete under Coach Sweeney.
“Sean was a great man, and I will forever remember him in that manner. Although Sean was my coach for two seasons, I never saw him as just my coach. I saw him as my friend. Yes, I respected him because he was in a position of authority in my life, but I also saw him as a friend because of how much he showed he cared about me and my life,” explained Conn via email. “The design (for the shirt) has been specifically designed to honor Sean and his legacy. We are planning on offering the shirts in three different colors: blue, gold, and black (these colors match the three teams Sean coached).”
“If anyone has not joined it yet, we encourage them to join so that they can keep up with the information we are putting out,” wrote Conn.
Conn also explained, “Sean always showed a genuine care for my life and the lives of every one of his players. The way he would just level with you was what stood out to me the most. Every time I would see him he’d ask how I was doing. He’d ask how my classes were going, what my future plans were, how my family was, etc. He genuinely cared about the lives of his players and took the time to listen to them. Part of the reason I enjoyed playing soccer was because of him. I would get excited whenever I got the chance to talk with him, because he’s just the type of person that makes you smile or laugh when you see them.”
Following the T-shirt fundraiser, the next fundraiser planned is a silent auction to be held Saturday, May 29 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. According to Conn, the individual with the highest bid at 9 p.m. will be the winner and receive that item. The winner must pay within the next 48 hours, or the item will go to the next highest bidder.
On Sunday, June 27 at Tony’s Welding and Fabrication Stadium (Miami Trace High School Varsity Field), a Tribute Game, Bake Sale, and 50/50 Raffle will be held in Sweeney’s honor and to continue fundraising efforts for his family.
“We want to thank the entire community for coming together and showing their support for the Sweeney Family. None of this would be possible without you all. Sean had a positive impact on every person he came in contact with, and all we want to do is honor his legacy,” wrote Conn. “We are looking forward to having these fundraisers and to see our community wrap their arms around the Sweeney Family. Please, everyone mark your calendars with these dates and be willing to give back—just like Sean did for countless people.”
Conn also explained, “I am blessed to have had the opportunity to share many laughs with him. I don’t know how else to explain it other than to say Sean was one of the boys. He just related perfectly with the age group whom he coached and was able to connect with every one of his players. I cannot think of a single player who could say that they did not like him. Sean was also very wise. That’s another reason why I loved talking with him. He would listen to what you had to say, and then he would share his experience on the matter.
“I miss being able to talk with Sean. Sean was really the person who demonstrated the meaningfulness of a conversation to me. I’d never looked forward to talking with someone so often before I knew him. Now, because of Sean, I see my conversations with people differently. While everyday conversations with people can seem ordinary and simple, you can be a light to someone based on how you carry yourself during that conversation. You can be the person someone looks forward to talking with. That is the lesson I take from Sean’s life—that is how he has impacted me for the better.”
Reach journalist Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.