Navarre Raiders head soccer coach Abdalla Elbaioumy lost his father-in-law last week. He passed away the day before a District 1-4A semifinal showdown against Washington.
Elbaioumy was on his way to practice when he learned of the death. He could have turned around and gone home.
Instead, he continued with his drive to practice that Tuesday afternoon, a decision that paints a picture of just how much his team means to him.
The next day the Raiders put away the Wildcats 5-1, advancing to the district championship game for the second consecutive season.
“I told the kids I’d be there for them and after the game was over, they told me they won this one for me, for my wife and for my family,” Elbaioumy said. “I appreciate that and how hard they work.”
The Raiders wanted to win one more for their coach on Friday. Navarre wanted to bring home a district title for the first time since 2015.
But it wasn’t in the cards. On a chilly night, the rain falling on and off, Navarre had no answer for Niceville in a 7-0 loss at Sherman Robinson Stadium in Pensacola.
Read the full article in the Feb. 7 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com for as little as $38 per year.