Week 30 Monday Motivation
Piute County School District,
On March 18th, 2022 the Portland Thorns will open the 2022 soccer season by hosting Megan Rapione and the OL Reign. The Portland Thorns are a professional women’s soccer team playing in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). The Thorns started a bit of a controversy a few years ago when they started allowing a 13 year old to practice with them.
Olivia Moultrie was born in Utah, but has spent most of her life in California. Today she is 16 years old and the youngest player in the National Women’s Soccer League. She has been playing soccer her whole life and loves it. Her talent was obvious at a very early age and attracted the attention of many greats in the soccer world. At 11 years old she was offered a scholarship to play at the University of North Carolina (UNC). An offer to such a young player was completely unheard of in women’s sports, and extremely rare in men’s sports. For perspective, the University of North Carolina has won more women’s NCAA soccer titles than all other teams combined. They don’t make offers lightly.
When Olivia was 13 years old she was presented with a difficult decision. An agent had recognized her talent and wanted her to skip youth leagues and start a professional career. She had the choice to play soccer with the local traveling teams, the local high school team, or try figuring out what it meant to go pro. Olivia decided to sign a contract with Nike and become a professional soccer player at 13. But there was a problem, the National Women’s Soccer League didn’t allow players under 18.
Olivia was adopted by the Portland Thorns as a practice and preseason player. She couldn’t be on the roster, but she could be with the team most of the time. Her family moved to Oregon and she started playing soccer with women nearly three times her age. At 13 the Thorns didn’t think she was quite ready to play in the NWSL, but they knew she would be.
At 15, it was obvious she was ready to be more than a practice player. She was already a heavily endorsed player and they didn’t see the point of waiting three more years for her to play in the league officially. Her parents filed suit against the NWSL and their age limit, citing the fact that the men’s league and foreign leagues had no such limits. The league dissolved the limit and Olivia was permitted to play.
Olivia was part of a Nike commercial that ended with, “It’s only crazy, until you do it. Just Do It!” One of Olivia’s Instagram videos ends with, “I’m not talented. I’m obsessed.” There are so many good lessons to be learned from Olivia. The rewards of hard work, the potential of our youth, and the joy of setting and accomplishing goals. Thank you for your efforts to push our students to accomplish their goals and fulfill their crazy dreams. We seek to build the best and most well-rounded students. In the wake of the tragedy at Stanford a couple weeks ago, we can’t emphasize too much supporting their mental health as well as intellectual and physical development. Thank you,
Just Do It in week 30,