Coach's Decision During Westminster Game Earns Sportsmanship Honor
John Mohrmann will be honored this weekend for a decision in a game against Westminster Christian Academy last season which could have cost his team a shot at a state title.
The St. Louis Priory varsity soccer program achieved perfection in the 2011, going 27-0 en route to a state title. But that's not why the team's coach will be honored Saturday night by the St. Louis Sports Commission's National Sportsmanship Awards.
Instead it will be because of a decision John Mohrmann made that could have ended his team's season in district play against Westminster Christian Academy.
Here's how it was described by the St. Louis Sports Commission: (You can also watch video of the play in question here)
Last November, soccer rivals Saint Louis Priory School and Westminster Christian Academy were locked in a battle for their district championship. The winner would advance to the Missouri state tournament. Unbeaten Priory faced a significant challenge from Westminster as the game was scoreless late in the first half. With about 10 minutes to go in the half, a free kick by a Priory player hit the football crossbar above the soccer goal and bounced back into play. Westminster players stopped playing assuming the ball would be ruled out of bounds. There was no immediate whistle and a Priory player kicked the ball into the goal. Not seeing that the ball had hit the football crossbar, the referees signaled a goal for Priory. Westminster’s valid argument was falling on deaf ears – until Priory coach John Mohrmann stepped in. He saw the ball hit the crossbar and did not think the goal for his team should count. Coach Mohrmann consulted with the officials and convinced them to overturn the goal.
Priory still ended up winning 1-0 on a score later in the game, but as West Newsmagazine reported, Mohrmann's decision left an impression on Westminster's team and their administration, indicated in a letter WCA's Athletic Director wrote to his Priory counterpart:
“This is a major act of outstanding sportsmanship that taught the kids, the fans and me the lesson that it is never wrong to do the right thing. In today’s society where we often see more videos of bad sportsmanship, it was a privilege to witness a display of outstanding sportsmanship. Well done coach John Mohrmann, you have displayed the integrity that I am sure St. Louis Priory School, The Metro League, and MSHSAA want to represent.
Mohrmann and the other honorees will be feted Saturday night at the Edward Jones Auditorium in Des Peres.
A broadcast of the event will be on KSDK Dec. 21 at 7 p.m.