Published on April 8th, 2016 | by Staples Soccer0
Sean Gallagher ’11 Inspires Wreckers
Sean Gallagher ’11 is a legend in Staples soccer history.
His versatility and take-no-prisoners mentality helped lead the Wreckers to the 2009 state championship, and 3 straight FCIAC titles.
On Wednesday night, Gallagher continued to give back to the Staples soccer program.
The 2015 United States Naval Academy graduate — who leaves soon to lead a Marine infantry platoon at Camp Pendleton — spent 90 minutes with the returning varsity and reserve players, at quad-captain Josh Berman’s house.
Downplaying his own achievements, Gallagher discussed the importance of teamwork, camaraderie, loyalty, persevering in the face of difficult obstacles, and doing the right thing.
He spoke about the bonds formed with his Staples soccer teammates — in good times and bad — and how important they remain, long after graduation. The off-field experiences were as important as those on the field, Gallagher said, noting that spending time together helps build trust.
Citing the most difficult time of his Marine training — a week in tough conditions, with only a day and a half of food — Gallagher said that it would have been easy to sneak extra food into his pack. However, he explained, the ultimate feeling of confidence and pride at the end of the week was far stronger than he would have had if he had taken the easy way out. Flying back on the helicopter after the long week, Gallagher said, was exhilarating.
The military leader described an important mantra: “Mission, men, me.” That means that the overall job is the first priority. Taking care of his Marines is second. He himself comes third.
Coach Tom Henske told the team that — despite being urged to be first in line for pizza at the event with Staples players — Gallagher waited until everyone else had gone before getting his own slices. Gallagher explained that he’ll soon be leading Marines who are decades older than he is. He can’t demand their respect; he has to earn it. He can’t do that by pulling rank. He has to prove to them that he puts their interests above his own.
It was an inspiring evening, filled with lessons on leadership, strength, intelligence and heart. If the Wreckers heed Gallagher’s words, they will be on the road to following one of Staples’ best leaders — and will be learning to lead themselves.