During this difficult time, every day can feel the same and motivation can run low. However, each day offers 24 hours to achieve a goal, reach a standard and keep improving. A constant drive to be better is something Waynesburg University men’s soccer player, Sean McCann, has always had.
“He had a standard for himself and his teammates that he expected day in and day out,” coach Brad Heethuis said. “He pushed himself, he pushed teammates [and] pushed coaches to be better.”
McCann is majoring in finance along with minoring in both accounting and economics. He’s been a part of the men’s soccer team for all four years of college.
His love for the game goes as far back as the first time he could set foot on the pitch.
“I probably started playing at like five or six years old,” McCann said. “As soon as I could really, [I got on] a team like U6 and U7.”
Born in Runcorn, England, less than 20 miles from Liverpool, his family moved to Pittsburgh’s Moon area in 2004, then to Michigan for a year before returning to Moon where they’ve stayed ever since.
Throughout his childhood journey soccer remained a part of his life. Wherever he went, he was on a team.
“I played for the Moon travel team, I also played for a travel team in Michigan whenever I was there,” McCann said.
Upon returning to the Pittsburgh area he forwent playing middle school soccer as it conflicted with club soccer.
His talents with them earned him a trip back across the pond, where he spent a year with a Premier League academy team.
“Through them [Arsenal] I was able to get a tryout for West Ham United’s Academy,” McCann said. “I got selected to go to a camp in Atlanta, and then I got selected to go there for a year in London.”
The effort he put in with Arsenal of Pittsburgh also caught the attention of Waynesburg’s coach Heethuis.
“Watching him play I liked what he could bring to the field,” Heethuis said. “Talking with him and his folks, he was the type of kid we would want in our program.”
Although skeptical at first, a visit to campus made McCann’s decision.
“Coach Brad was always emailing and communicating with me,” McCann said. “Then I came down for a visit, [I] got to meet the coach, liked him a lot, met a few professors, and that’s when my opinion changed and I decided this would be a good fit.”
Indeed it was as McCann succeeded in the classroom and entered a leadership role in his sophomore season following the graduation of then senior defender Josh Hennigh.
“Sean stepped in as a centre back, and read the game really well,” Heethuis said. “He was calm and composed and was able to make things happen when starting an attack.”
Four years offers a chance for a lot of memories to be made, either on long bus rides, in practice, or sitting together eating at the Beehive.
Playing soccer will always be possible, but as graduation nears, the time spent with his friends and teammates are irreplaceable.
“I made some really close friends while in college, being able to play alongside those guys for four years is something I’m going to miss,” McCann said. “I can always pick up a league when I’m older, but I won’t be playing alongside some of my closest friends.”
After graduation, McCann plans to work as an investment analyst at Schneider Downs.
The dedication in all aspects of his time at Waynesburg is something Heethuis will look back on fondly in the future.
“Whether it be on the field or in the classroom, you look at what he did and the expectations he had for himself, that’s what we’ll strive for,” Heethuis said. “We’ll look back and remember Seanny, and what he did. That’s what we want to try to do.”