Shameful? No Class? Who does this really describe? Dutton deserves more

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St. Clairsvlle’s Jaclyn Dutton broke the Ohio record for career goals with No. 184 on Tuesday. (Photo by www.stcsoccer.com)

Jaclyn Dutton did something Tuesday that only one other person in state history has ever done. She also did something that no one in state history has ever done. Message board haters will tell you Dutton’s selfish and her act shameful. They also say her coach – Joe Kubik – has no regard for morals and sportsmanship. I’m here to tell you they’re wrong.


Jaclyn Dutton did something Tuesday that only one other person in state history has ever done. She also did something that no one in state history has ever done.

A senior at St. Clairsville High School and a girls soccer standout – she’s headed to Clemson – Dutton tied a state record by scoring 13 goals in one game. She also set a state record by notching her 184th career goal.

Message board haters will tell you Dutton’s selfish and her act shameful. They also say her coach – Joe Kubik – has no regard for morals and sportsmanship.

I’m here to tell you they’re wrong.

On the surface 13 goals by one girl in a 14-4 win looks shady. No doubt about it.
But there are several aspects here playing to Dutton’s defense.

First of all, lets get the obvious out of the way, we’re talking about St. Clairsville here. Remind me if I am wrong but has anyone ever accused the Red Devils of being a girls soccer powerhouse? This team plays more West Virginia schools than it does Ohio schools and has it repeatedly – for years – run the score up on teams? No. Last year, St. Clairsville itself was beaten 10-2 in the district semifinals by John Glenn. The two years prior, the Red Devils were 1-2 in the postseason.

So…as a coach (Kubik) you’ve got a program that you’re trying to build – and the perfect poster child. But you shouldn’t show her off? All little girls need heroes, and no doubt Dutton is one to a few in St. Clairsville – and probably neighboring communities as well. As a region, Eastern Ohio does not have a rich soccer history. Dutton adds to it dramatically.

I’m not willing to go so far as to say Dutton is on par with former Logan High School grad and WNBA basketball standout Katie Smith, but somehow right now the tale sounds a little similar. Standout athletes…from the eastern part of the state…from mostly rural settings…insane numbers…you get it.

While Smith went to Ohio State and excelled in the Big Ten, Dutton is headed for Clemson and the Atlantic Coast Conference, which is the marquee affiliation for women’s collegiate soccer.

The ACC – or rather simply North Carolina – has won 19 of the 27 national championships contested in women’s soccer. Clemson itself has a lengthy history having been to 14 straight NCAA tournaments before missing last year’s dance.

Needless to say, Dutton is not going to play for a slouch D-I program. She’s headed right to the belly of the beast. That – in itself – deserves respect…not criticism.

Yet there it is…from posters:

No offense to this girl, but 13 goals in one game? Come on, that is shameful.

Hopefully she and her coach do take offense and take it to heart. Utterly classless in every way.

Hopefully she can make the adjustment in college to not being the team focus. Maybe look around and see that there is more to competition than amassing quantifiable personal statistics at the expense of others.

Did she really need to score that final goal? Maybe give the other girls a try. I am surprised that she didn’t get whacked by the other team after the 9, 10, 11th goal.

There are so many things wrong with this situation it almost scary! The fact that this is being praised is even scarier. The blame is by no means the player’s – she is obviously very gifted. All blame needs to go to THE COACH and the school for letting this happen.

Very wrong. Coach, school and player have no class.

It looks like they have a pretty quality schedule! Put her up against real competition and I bet she gets shut out.

As a player, you SHOULD know when to stop. As a coach, you SHOULD know how to be a good sport and have some class. I guess neither did in this situation.

Class.

I ask you: WHO exactly is IT that doesn’t have any?

In an article that appeared in Tuesday’s Martins Ferry Times Leader, Dutton is interviewed and mentions here teammates repeatedly when being interviewed.

“The key for me scoring has been having a good team with me,” Dutton told the Times Leader. “I couldn’t do anything without them.”

Added Kubik: “The girls really seemed to rally around her. They wanted her to get this record. They backed her and encouraged her. You have to have teammates willing to do those kinds of things to set this kind of record.”

One thing I learned through years of athletic participation was that the older you get the less you care about individual stats and the more you care about remaining relevant – as in titles, records and lasting images. Thirteen goals accomplishes that on all accounts – for the winners AND losers.

I also think, however, that individual stats are one thing that make high school sports special. Sometimes – at the varsity level – someone can do the unthinkable.

Consider…the NFL record for most rushing yards in a game is 296. The college record – all divisions – is 441. The national high school record? 619.

Dutton’s career reads a lot like the latter. Absurd.

As a freshman she scored 43 goals, which ranks tied for 17th all-time in state history. Last year as a junior, Dutton netted 51 goals, good enough for a tie for No. 7 on the all-time list. This season Dutton has 59 goals, which to this point ranks the fifth-best single-season effort in state history. Her lemon season? As a sophomore when she only scored 31 times.

Get real.

“Jaclyn’s an amazing player,” Kubik told the Times Leader. “She’s earned everything she’s received. Her performance was just an exhibition.”

Said Dutton: “It’s a big honor and I guess my hard work paid off.

“I couldn’t have done it without my teammates.”

That’s funny. You catch that last line?

A lot of people would have you think she did.

 

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