Soccer lore stereotypes the goalkeeper as an obsessive loner who’s chosen a Sisyphean task. Sometimes they’re hot heads, sometimes misfits or flamboyant prima donnas, but rarely are goalkeepers portrayed as level-headed.
Thunder Mountain High School goalkeeper John Seymour doesn’t fit the stereotype.
The senior Falcon is cool and light hearted. He depends on hard work and communication rather than appeasing the soccer muses. Perhaps it’s his pragmatic mindset that has carried him to an athletic scholarship with Edmonds Community College in Washington, where he starts his college career next Fall.
“I try to deal with ups and downs well,” Seymour said as he warmed up for practice. “Most people don’t like goalie because of how hard it is. You’re having balls kicked at you. To play goalie you have to think about what you can do for your team, not necessarily what your team can do for you.”
Part of Seymour’s progress has come from being the backstop of a growing program. He started with the varsity squad midway through his freshman year.
“Varsity experience has helped me a lot. A lot of guys will go to JDHS because they think they can’t get the experience here,” Seymour said. “With TMHS, we’re trying to get the program to progress. Honestly, I think I’ve progressed through this program very well. I think I have gotten a lot of good experience, especially playing goalkeeper. Even those games when I have a lot of shots on me, it’s good experience,” Seymour said.
TMHS assistant coach Josh Odum, who has worked with Seymour since his youth league days, said Seymour’s dedication has made him a special player, physically and mentally.
“His communication from the backline in directing his defense is pretty incredible for his age,” Odum said. “It really comes with experience and hard work. We come out here three days a week an hour before practice to just work on goalkeeper stuff.”
Since his youth days, Odum said, “John’s biggest progress has been his tenacity in the box. When he was younger he was much more timid, which is normal for young goalkeepers, but he’s fearless now. His spatial awareness is perfect. I see great things out of him.”
Seymour played in the Olympic Development Program and travelled to San Diego, California, to play in the Nomad Tournament. The ODP work helped him polish his game against tough competition.
“I played against some really good players down south on the Alaska team,” Seymour said. “I mean, I didn’t know what a knuckleball was until Antonio Hafferty hit one from like the 30-yard line and it was just moving everywhere for me.”
Seymour checked out schools last summer.
“The coach at Edmonds was the only coach I was actually able to meet, and I really liked him. … He seemed like a very nice guy who was also very serious about the game. … But he was easy to joke around with, too. Since then Edmonds has been on the top of the list.”
Though Seymour doesn’t have a major picked out, he plans on pursuing something in the sciences. He is most looking forward to developing his game in an atmosphere which revolves around soccer.