During the fall, members of the Bates community were able to watch Lewiston High School’s boy’s soccer team play their home games on Garcelon Field on the road to a state title. On Wednesday, students got to hear from an alumni and author who wrote a book about the team’s first title run, in 2015, and its importance to the town.
Amy Bass ’92, a sports writer and professor at New Rochelle College in New York State, returned to her alma mater to talk about her newest book. Entitled One Goal: A Coach, A Team, and the Game that Brought a Divided Town Together, the book looks at Lewiston High School’s 2015 state title run in boy’s soccer. In particular, One Goal tells the story of how Lewiston’s coaches were able to bring together white and Somali players behind a common goal.
Bass began the talk by introducing Lewiston High School Soccer Head Coach Mike McGraw, a major presence throughout the book, who was in the audience. McGraw and received applause from the crowd when Bass introduced him. Bass called McGraw, “such a good friend and such an important part of this story.” From there, Bass discussed the process of writing and researching the book and “embedding” herself in the Lewiston community.
“In so many ways this book is a first for me. It’s not an academic book, it’s my first attempt writing nonfiction and to tell story in a way I hadn’t told a story before,” said Bass.
Bass continued by reading a excerpt from her book and discussing the McGraw and team’s frequent use of the word “together,” which she claimed was the single word she heard McGraw say the most during her time with the team. Lewiston’s coaches encouraged white and Somali players to not only spend time together during practice, but also off the field, something that McGraw did see as much of as would have liked initially.
“If you’re going to the store, if your going to class you need to do it together. High fives in the hallway. You need to hang out together…You need to stick up for each other,” read Bass from One Goal, quoting McGraw.
Bass also discussed the process through which the first members of the Somali community to arrive in Lewiston came, as well the tension that it caused. Bass felt that Lewiston’s soccer team has set an example for the rest of the town, and the nation, on a path moving forward as a unified whole. In response to an audience question, Bass said that she saw soccer as a sport was particularly well suited for bringing people from a variety of backgrounds together because of its global popularity. Many of the student members of the audience were Bates’ soccer teams.
After graduating from Bates, Bass received Masters and Doctoral degrees from Stony Brook University. She has One Goal is Bass’s fourth book. Her others have ranged in subject matter from legacy of NAACP founder W.E.B Du Bois to the 1968 Olympics. Bass has won an Emmy Award for work for NBC at the 2012 London Olympic Games.