Dressing formally before games is a tradition among many athletes. Detective Joey Melvin, the school resource officer at Georgetown Middle School, hoped the school’s soccer players would catch on.
“They were never told to dress up,” says Melvin, so he challenged the players to dress in a shirt and bow tie for their next game.
But when that day rolled around, only four students met his request. Co-captains Marcos Espinosa and Denilson Garcia didn’t understand what Melvin meant. “I thought he just meant to wear a dress shirt,” says Garcia. But Melvin had a revelation.
“I thought about it and realized that with a team of 45 players, many of which have relocated from out of the country, not everyone may have access or can afford a bow tie,” he says.
Melvin solicited several businesses for donations. Within a week, ties.com, an online retailer of men’s accessories, sent neckwear in the school colors of blue and gold for every athlete. Melvin presented the items to the team during a special assembly in October.
Melvin has been a school resource officer since 2009. He says the job is broader than law enforcement. “It’s about connecting with the kids who don’t have role models or mentors.”
He is hoping the kids will see the big picture. “I hope they begin to understand that how you dress and how you look affects your demeanor. Above all, I’m hoping it fosters camaraderie.”
Winning 60 straight games helps.