World Cup champion Sam Mewis returned home to get inducted into the W-H Athletics Hall of Fame.
A World Cup title and back-to-back National Women’s Soccer League championships are part of Sam Mewis’ accomplishments, but some of her fondest memories playing soccer came from her time at Whitman-Hanson Regional High.
“One time, Mary, one of my best friends from high school, I had said it was my mission to have her score a goal, and I was able to assist her first goal ever,” Mewis recalled. “I just remember being so happy and there was this picture in the newspaper, and it just meant so much to me to share that with Mary.”
On Wednesday, Oct. 30, Mewis returned to Dennis M. O’Brien Field — not to play — but as an inductee into the W-H Athletics Hall of Fame. She shared that message with the W-H girls’ soccer team before the game.
“She talked to [the team] about cherishing every moment,” said W-H head coach David Floeck, who coached Mewis from 2007-10. “She’s been in the biggest moments around, and she talked about remembering getting ready for her senior night and getting ready for the tournament and for the kids to enjoy each and every one of those nights.”
Braving the evening rain in a Whitman-Hanson Panthers sweatshirt and black pullover, Mewis, who was unable to attend the original W-H Athletics Hall of Fame induction last month, sandwiched a halftime speech between autograph sessions.
— Nate Rollins (@n_rollins1) October 31, 2019
“It’s great [to be back],” said Mewis, who graduated from W-H in 2010. “It’s super exciting and it’s a huge honor. I’m just really excited to be here and be back with the community and seeing a lot of my old friends and teachers. It was awesome.
“I’m really grateful for obviously this community, the way that the coaches and players and my teammates contributed to all that success. Everyone who has been a part of my journey so far has contributed in such a big way, so I wouldn’t be here without them.”
During Mewis’ tenure at W-H, the Panthers went 74-6-4 and won four league titles. Floeck said she helped lay the groundwork for the program’s future.
“When Kristie (Sam’s sister) got here and Sam followed a couple years behind, that’s really when the program took off,” Floeck said. “We had been good up to that point, but that’s when it really took off and we’ve maintained a level of success that a lot of the players that have gone through here have a lot to be proud of.”
Erin Wood, a current senior back on the team, used to attend Mewis’ games growing up.
“Knowing she’s from our school is really awesome to see,” said Wood. “I mean, she grew up in the same town we did, probably five minutes from my house, so the fact that she made it that far in the World Cup and actually won, shows that even if you’re from a small town you build a name for yourself and can create something.”
And that’s just the message Mewis is trying to relay.
“I hope that I can inspire young girls to work hard and believe in themselves and know that no matter where you’re from or what you want to do, it’s possible,” Mewis said.
That’s just a part of the impact Mewis said she is hoping to have on society.
“One of our goals with this whole fight, to help inspire the next generation and all women to understand their value and their worth in the workplace,” Mewis said. “It’s a responsibility, but we also hope that young women everywhere understand that they deserve equal pay.”
Next up for the Hanson native, she now sets her sights on the chance to represent the country on the national stage once again, in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.
“It would be unbelievable,” Mewis said. “I missed out on the Olympics last time and it was a huge honor to make the World Cup team, but I would love to continue making rosters and continue down that path.”