Patriot graduate signs with professional soccer team, hopes to inspire future fans

Cindy Yao, Staff Reporter

From high school student to professional athlete, Stevenson alumni Gordon Gurson ’10 has made it big in the soccer league.

The avid soccer player got his big break at age 22, as the first player to be signed onto the Seattle Impact FC team, an indoor soccer team.  This season, he will play the position of forward and midfielder.

In light of his growing success, Gurson credits Stevenson in developing his interest in soccer.  He has fond memories of his time on the boys varsity soccer team, both as a competitor and a role model.

“[Gurson] was a joy to be around in practice,” said Mark Schartner, boys varsity soccer coach. “He was highly skilled, trained hard and always motivated to get better.”

Determination was crucial in helping Gurson achieve his dream.  However, a schedule that consisted of hours of soccer practice and school was physically and mentally challenging.  Although it was hard to find a balance, it was something Gurson wanted to accomplish.

“In high school and college, I didn’t get to live the normal life,” Gurson said.  “I didn’t get to go out with friends because I was always playing soccer. On week nights I used to get back to my house at 2 a.m. and had to be up for school at 6:30.”

At school though, Gurson always came to class ready and had his homework done. Communication with teachers is crucial for those finding a balance between academics and athletics, said history teacher David Frantonius, a former teacher of Gurson’s.

“I knew that soccer was a huge part in his life,” said Frantonius.  “Sometimes getting a worksheet done may not be the most important thing, so if he had a big soccer game coming up, we tried to come up with alternative plans, which is something I do from time to time for students who have a major event coming up.”

His hard work has since paid off. Just days after he turned 22, Gurson was contacted by the Seattle Impact team and was informed that he would have a personal tryout with the owner, who flew to Chicago the next day for a five hour training session with him.

A month later, he received an offer to become the first player on the team; he accepted. Gurson largely attributes Stevenson in aiding him in these achievements.

“At Stevenson, a lot goes into helping students excel at their chosen sport,” Schartner said.  “The entire package of great [staff], quality equipment and quality practice facilities makes it possible.”

Looking forward, Gurson plans on attending professional outdoor tryouts after the indoor season ends.  Gurson hopes that his story of perseverance and hard work inspires his fans to pursue their dreams.

“Playing soccer for a living is something everyone dreams of doing,” Gurson said.  “Once I realized how much I loved [it], I decided, why not dedicate my whole life to it?”