Slogan takes on personalmeaning for Ewton girls
Posted in locker rooms around the world is the slogan, “Team is Family.”
For Katey Ewton, sister Annie and mother Karen Ewton, it is much more than a slogan.
It has become, for lack of a better phrase, a family tradition. The Ewtons are an integral part of a stellar, senior-led Salado girls soccer team that is ranked #2 in the state, having been ranked #1 earlier in the season.
The Lady Eagles will take their 21-1 record on the road in Giddings tonight when they face La Grange, the fourth-place team from 26-4A.
The Lady Eagles are back-to-back champions of District 25-4A with a perfect district record over the past two years.
The Ewton love for soccer is a decade-and-a-half in the making for the daughters. Karen didn’t compete in soccer in school as it was not offered until her senior year at West Brook High School in Beaumont. “I really wish I would have played, but I did get a chance to play some in adult leagues after high school.”
“Basically, my best sport is being a klutz,” Karen confesses, adding, “maybe that is more of an art.:
Katey began soccer in Salado at the ripe old age of four. As a tot, she played in recreational leagues in Salado, but she and her younger sister Annie soon began playing for select teams in Temple.
Annie played for the ‘99 Centex Cyclones in Temple beginning at age 10. At age 14, the team transitioned into Liverpool and Annie joined her older sister Katey on the ‘98 Liverpool Gerrard club, coach Chris Gilham. Most recently, she changed to play with ‘99 Sting in Austin.
“We played together a lot when we were little and playing rec,” Annie said. “When I tried out for Select I played with my age group, but after a couple of seasons of that my family decided it would a lot easier for Katey and me to play on the same team again because we had conflicting schedules.”
Schedules that included for Karen being a regular on stage at the Silver Spur Theater and a full-time teaching job at Salado ISD and for dad Bill a full-time job in restoration construction and a newly-acquired habit of running. By habit, we mean he runs double-marathons on trail courses over the weekends.
The girls also took up running by competing in cross country and track in junior high and high school.
“Annie and I competed more when we were younger, but as we’ve gotten older we don’t compete nearly as much,” Katey said. “In cross country however, we constantly were competing with each other because it was a competition to see who could get the better time or have the better practice.”
When Katey reached high school, it was a natural fit for her to play soccer here. She has been a varsity lettermen for four years.
Her mother was already coaching soccer for Salado. Prior to coaching high school soccer, Karen said she had one year of assisting Dr. Erin Bird coach a recreational team that including Annie, Morgan Bird and Daniel Magadan, all stalwart players at Salado High now. She had no plans on being a high school soccer coach.
“Funny story,” Karen says of coaching soccer. “I had never coached a sport before Salado started the soccer program. During in-service that first year, I was browsing around the health fair when Dr. Novotny and Cindy Mewhinney called me over. After some chit chat they asked me if Katey and Annie still played soccer and if I enjoyed going to the games.”
“After I told them that the girls were still playing, they astounded me by asking if I would consider being the varsity assistant coach,” Karen said. :I was pretty stunned. I asked some pretty lame questions about driving the bus (my least favorite thing about coaching) and wearing athletic clothes to school, and they basically took a chance on someone with a bunch of teaching experience and no specific coaching experience.”
Ewton joined Coach Michael Goos and Earl Bragg as the inaugural and complete soccer program of three coaches. Six years later, they are still coaching with Bragg and Ewton as varsity assistants. Ewton is the girls JV head coach and Bragg is the boys JV head coach.
“It’s been great because I have learned a ton,” Karen said, “and Coach Goos is a great example of what a difference a determined, caring, tough coach can be. He has built Salado Soccer into a great program for kids to be a part of. This year Dianne Lemus will head up junior high soccer so the excitement he has fostered is growing.”
“I’ve loved every second I’ve had on the field under coach Goos,” Katey said.
Rather than competing with each other, as siblings often do, the sisters work with each other and with the other players on a team that epitomizes selflessness.
“Annie and I competed more when we were younger, but as we’ve gotten older we don’t compete nearly as much,” Katey said. “In cross country however, we constantly were competing with each other because it was a competition to see who could get the better time or have the better practice. When we both used to run track, we ran different races so there wasn’t much room for competition.
“Being in different grades and being offered different classes doesn’t give much room for competition in school,” she added. “We’re not very competitive with each other usually.”
Annie agrees. “When we were younger there was a bit of competition on the field until we started playing different positions and realized all positions were just as important,” Annie said. “Growing up so close in age and being the younger sister definitely made for some competition, but Katey didn’t necessarily compete with me.”
“Honestly having someone to compete with has helped me grow not only as a player,” she added, “but helped me strive to be better in a lot of different aspects of my life.”
And that is a tradition that all families, all teams can aspire to.