PAOLA — The Paola Panther soccer team recognizes one player each season for their dedication to the program, their spirit and their character.
The Panther Award will no longer have the same name.
It is being renamed for the 2019 Panther Award winner, Paola senior Justice Reed.
Reed was presented with the honor during the Paola Panther soccer team banquet on Thursday, Nov. 21.
The Panther Award will now be called the Justice Reed Award.
“Within the soccer team and the community, Justice is known for his hard work and dedication,” Paola coach Corey Troast said. “If you’ve ever driven by the turf at night or on the weekend and saw a player kicking a ball around, it was Justice Reed.”
Reed loves the game and is as dedicated as they come, Troast said.
“He would text the soccer team, letting them know he was going to be at the field two hours earlier before summer workouts if anyone wanted to get extra work in,” Troast said.
He may very well be the face of the soccer program in Paola, Troast said.
“I cannot tell you how many coaches, teachers, and community members have come up to me over the last four years and said, ‘I saw Reed at the field the other day’ and ‘I wish I had players like Justice who put in that much effort.’”
In addition to playing soccer this season, Reed also balanced his classwork with cross country. He ran his way onto the varsity squad this season.
For his dedication, passion and loyalty to the program, Reed was honored by the Paola soccer team with an award named after him.
“This year, I decided to do something special,” Troast said. “I typically give out a team award called the Panther Award. It goes to someone on the team who is coachable, listens, works hard and overall is just a great person.
“In honor of Justice and the amount of hard work he has put forth in his four-year career, I have renamed the award the ‘Justice Reed Award,’” Troast said. “Each year, the soccer team will honor a soccer player who embodies the work ethic that Justice displayed over the last four years. The plaque in the picture will stay with the head soccer coach, and each season we will recognize our Justice Reed Award.”