Bolivar defeated Republic 4-0 Thursday night, but the real winner was Joplin. The two teams combined to raise nearly $3,500 for the Joplin School District, in recognition of the Joplin tornado that destroyed thousands of homes, and damaged ten schools.
The two teams sold T-shirts, held a silent auction, and auctioned off two soccer balls–one autographed by each team. Republic coach Mike Hines has stressed community service since starting the soccer program last year, and he said that’s become a “core component of his program.
“We realized that most high school programs don’t turn out pro athletes,” Hines said. “So I decided you might as well have them be pro at something. So we decided to have them be contributors to society.”
“I give each team the opportunity to vote during the preseason on if they want to do a fundraiser. They came up with the idea that they wanted to do it for Joplin schools,” Hines said. “I thought it was great. My brother’s a fireman in Joplin, I lived in Joplin, our first son was born in Joplin, our old house there was wiped out. So I thought it was great.”
Last year, the boys and girls soccer teams raised about $8,000 combined for charity.
In the varsity game, Bolivar used two first-half goals to build a lead, then held off several Republic chances in the second half, before scoring two more late goals to account for the final margin.