By Anna Grace Moore

Photos by Homewood City Schools & Contributed

On Saturday, May 13 at the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s women’s soccer state championship, the Homewood High School lady patriots secured a hard-fought win against Montgomery Academy, defending their second 6A State Championship title in a row under their coach Sean McBride’s leadership.

The defending champions won their first-ever state championship in 2019 under coach Mindy McBride, who is Sean’s wife and now one of the assistant principals at Homewood High School. Sean took over the women’s soccer program in 2020 when his wife was promoted, leading the patriots to back-to-back wins in 2022 and 2023.

Sean is no stranger to hard work. He began teaching history and coaching men’s soccer at Homewood High School in 2000 and since has led his players to win more than 300 games and the men’s soccer 6A State Championships in 2003, 2005, 2006, 2014 and 2018.

When asked how he has tenured success among his players, he credited the students, themselves, for their dedication both on and off the field.

“When you’re a high school athlete, it’s very hard to balance your sports and grades as well,” Sean says. “This group of young women were tremendous on the field but even better in the classroom. Some of these kids that just graduated were honors grads and had a 4.0 and above.”

Two of Sean’s daughters, Mary Siena and Annie Grace, played on his varsity team this year. Mary Siena was named State Championship MVP and earned Second Team All Metro, and Annie Grace earned First Team All Metro.

“My wife coached a lot of these kids when they were 10, 11, 12 years old, and I coached a lot of their brothers when I [coached] the boys program,” Sean says. “They’re not just your players. You become so attached to them. It’s almost like they’re your adopted kids for the season.”

One such player, Maddie Massie, played on Sean’s pee-wee team as a child in Homewood Soccer Club and returned to play for him again in high school. Maddie was named the Metro Player of the Year and earned First Team All Metro.

“It was really exciting to win, but I think it’s a testament to my teammates and coaches because they got me in that position,” Maddie says.

Maddie, who was one of the soccer captains for the 2022-23 season, knows the grind and is used to waking up early, putting in the work and helping each of her teammates work to turn their goals into reality.

“I try to bring it every single day at practice,” Maddie says. “For me, it was really important that everyone had that same goal.”

Sean believes success can only be achieved if everyone not only believes in their ability to win, but also harnesses the willpower to do what it takes to win.

“It’s easy to win a state championship [when you have talented players],” Sean says. “It’s difficult to defend one because the target on your back gets bigger. You have to bring your A-game with you every single game. These kids realized that, and they raised the standard of their own performance to a level that was consistent enough to win it in the end.”

Win or lose, Maddie says Sean never wavered in his faith that his players were capable of achieving success.

“No matter if we had a ton of talent, he always had faith in us,” Maddie says. “I think that’s really important to have in a coach but also really inspiring.”

Sean was awarded one of the 2022 Teacher Impact Awards by the Homewood City Schools Foundation last year. He was also named Metro Coach of the Year in 2023. Although Sean is highly decorated as an educator and a coach, he attributes his success to the amazing community that has invested into him.

“There’s a lot of great coaches here,” Sean says. “To get that award when all those other people are up for it, it makes you appreciative of the people that voted for you.”

Mentoring young people, he says, is but one aspect of his career that makes his work worthwhile.

“The satisfaction of being a coach and a teacher is you get to see the young men and women these kids grow into,” Sean says. “That makes you feel like you’re doing something right. It’s an honor to be a teacher. It’s something I never take for granted.”

Sean says he tries never to take much for granted in his life because of his upbringing. Born and raised in Wishaw, Scotland, Sean says growing up, there were limited opportunities for dreamers like himself. He soon fell in love with soccer and used the sport as his “ticket to a better future.”

After graduating from high school, Sean attended Massasoit Community College on a soccer scholarship and transferred to Birmingham Southern College, where he earned his bachelors in history and stayed on to get his teaching certificate.

He worked as a graduate assistant for Birmingham Southern College’s men’s soccer program before accepting a position at Homewood High School.

Sean believes the Homewood community embracing him and his family is part of the reason they all have earned such success. Even more than awards or titles, Sean is thankful for the fellowship that he says makes his job so special.

“You don’t become a teacher because you’re going to get rich,” Sean says. “You become a teacher because it’s something you’re passionate about. That’s easy for me here at Homewood High School. To work in a community that is so heavily involved in the classroom and in athletics and backs their teachers so much is a God send.”

Maddie, too, believes there’s no place like home than in Homewood.

“I really wouldn’t choose anywhere else to grow up,” Maddie says. “If I could choose anywhere in the world to play, I’d choose to play for Coach Sean McBride because of the great coach and the great person that he is.”

At the end of the day, Sean says he is so thankful for the opportunity to give back to others what soccer has given to him. Thanks to this sport and the support of the community, he gets to do what he loves every day.

“If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life,” Sean says. “That’s what teaching feels like to me.”

Coach Speak

“The highlight for me was not just winning it but seeing their reactions at the end of the game, when they realized their high school careers were over,” Sean says. “It made them happy and sad at the same time.”

New Beginnings

Congratulations to these three Homewood High School alums who are going to play collegiate soccer. Maddie Massey, Furman University; Sunny Ferren, Longwood University; and Grace Studinka, Mississippi College.