The second-annual Sean Sweeney Tribute Game was held at Miami Trace High School on June 25.
The late soccer coach touched many lives, especially of young people in the community, assisting his close friend, Josh Thoroman, with the coaching duties for the Miami Trace Panthers boys team.
From Gayle Smith, Sean’s mom, and Marilyn and Pierre Sweeney, Sean’s dad and step mom:
The Sweeney family thanks everyone for their continued support and participation in such a great game! As a result of the game, we were able to raise $1,500 that will go toward three more Sean Sweeney Memorial Scholarships in the coming years!
If anyone has any interest in donating to the scholarship fund throughout the year, please contact Debbie Black, Miami Trace Local Schools Treasurer, and she will help deposit the funds into the scholarship fund!
From Gayle and myself (Caleb Perry):
Blue Lions Soccer Alumni, you are being cordially challenged to a battle of the black and blue alumni game next year. Reach out to me at [email protected] if you’re interested in helping me get it set up!
Next years alumni games are already scheduled for June 24, 2023, so mark your calendars!
From Caleb Perry:
Thank you to everyone who has made the Sean Sweeney games such a huge success over the last two years. The fact that we have had the turnout that we have had for the last two years is a true testament to the impact Sean had on all who knew him.
Although we all miss him dearly, it is clear to see how much he meant to all of us, and I can’t thank everyone who has helped make the event a possibility enough for keeping Sean’s name alive.
A huge thank you to Debbie Napier and the Miami Trace Athletic Boosters and the Miami Trace Athletic Department for making the events a possibility and for their help in making the events such a huge success! Again, thank you all for coming out to support the event, and we can’t wait to see you all there next year!
“It was a beautiful day with a good turnout,” Miami Trace head coach Josh Thoroman said. “We started the day with the Big Cat Soccer Club playing a youth game. It was a small-sided game. We probably let them play 20 minutes or so. We did a little shootout event with them so that the crowd could get behind them.
“Then we were able to have our first all-female Miami Trace alumni game,” Thoroman said. “We had the alumni come back to play against the current girls.
“That game was followed by our high school guys playing against the more recent graduates, the ones coached by Sean Sweeney in the last few years,” Thoroman said. “I have to say I’m super-proud of the high schoolers, because it was zero-zero at the half. We had a 1-0 lead in the second half before they got us, 3-1.
“That was probably the best alumni team I’ve ever seen,” Thoroman said. “They’re loaded with talent.
“We finished off with what I like to call the old man’s game,” Thoroman said. “Where we got all the old guys from all the years were out here. We called it like a playground draft. We threw a couple of captains out there and they just picked sides. We had friends playing with friends. One team was black and one team was white, the Panther colors.
“One team scored three in the first and one team scored four in the second, so, it was a nice, fun, exciting back and forth game,” Thoroman said. “I think we got a lot of things right today.”
Thoroman spoke about his friend, Sean Sweeney.
“Sean, that’s my guy,” Thoroman said. “He was like a little brother to me. I met him when I was 9 and he was 3. His parents were my coaches. Here I was, a little 9-year-old, playing for the first time, a third grader. He was their little guy, he was three and he was at all of the practices. He’s the same age as my little brother, Jeff.
“So, growing up, we had sleep-overs all the time,” Thoroman said. “Sean and my brother were best friends. The dude eats, sleeps and breathes soccer. He was a natural to be a coach with me. We had a seven-year run at Southern State and then we came up to Miami Trace and did it for six years.
“Sean was my right-hand man for 13 years,” Thoroman said. “Losing him, it’s hard to describe what that’s like, what he brought to the table.
“I think everybody had a really good time today,” Thoroman said. “I think Sean is looking down smiling pretty big right now, there’s no doubt.”