Shawnee Mission West alumna and current Nebraska freshman Sinclaire Miramontez put “the cherry on top” of her high school soccer career and one of the best seasons she’s ever experienced as the National Soccer Coaches Association of America named her an All-American.
Miramontez helped the Vikings to a 20-0-1 record and the program’s first state title as they defeated Blue Valley West 1-0 in the championship.
“It’s hard to explain, but it’s a really good feeling to know that all the hard work and dedication I’ve had to put in over the years can pay off to something so wonderful, so meaningful as an All-American,” the defender said. “A lot of kids dream about one day achieving that goal. The fact that it happened to me of all people, I was over static when (SM West coach Sarah) Gonzalez told me I won this award.
“I immediately started crying. I was in the kitchen with my sister, and she said, ‘What is wrong with you?’ She was equally as happy as I was. It’s something I’ll always be thankful for.”
This recognition, though, isn’t an individual award, Miramontez said. She said the 2016 Vikings were special and they knew from the beginning they were destined for greatness.
“When we did finally win that state championship, I thought that was the high point,” Miramontez said. “When I did receive this award, I immediately owed it to my teammates because without them I wouldn’t have come close to being considered for this award. I think this award is not only for me, but it’s for that whole team.”
Miramontez was joined at the NSCAA All-America Luncheon on Jan. 14, in Los Angeles with Gonzalez and current Cornhusker teammate Jaycie Johnson.
Gonzalez was named the central region large school coach of the year for spring 2016. She said it was an honor as there are a lot of talented coaches in the region.
“I was also a national referee of the year and a regional ref of the yaer, so I’ve had it on that side,” Gonzalez said. “To earn it on the coaches side is really big for me to get both sides of those and to be honored by the coaches in the area.”
Gonzalez said she’s coached a lot of strong players throughout the program’s history and she’s had a lot of hard-working players, but said Miramontez had both.
“She was extremely talented, athletic, amazing leader and hard working,” Gonzalez said. “She was the toughest critic on herself.”
Gonzalez said it’s difficult to measure how good a defender is, but you can watch by seeing who doesn’t want to go against her. Teams would try and would be unsuccessful because she would read the game and read the player.
Miramontez she wouldn’t be able to compare any award or championship at the college level to the high school level because they are so different. If Nebraska were to win a Big Ten championship or reach a NCAA Final Four or Miramontez were to be named a college All-American, she would appreciate it differently.
“It’s a different experience and different emotions and feelings that go behind it,” Miramontez said. “That was the high school me and I’m on to something totally different.”