Federal Way High School grad heads to Special Olympics with local soccer team

John Emmett started playing soccer when he was 13 at the urging of his friends, and he hasn’t looked back since.

Emmett, who graduated from Federal Way High School in 2011, played on the Federal Way School Stars unified soccer team and loved the competitive nature of the sport.

He went to nationals for Special Olympics for the first time in 2010, and again in 2013 and 2014.

Now Emmett plays for Federal Way Thunder Blue as a forward, and his favorite part of the game is scoring goals for his team. Emmett said his team will head to Seattle on June 30, where they will join 50 other teams in competition.

Stu Snow, the Thunder Blue’s coach, enjoys working with Emmett and has seen a lot of growth from him over the years.

“He’s a great kid, and I’ll support him in anything he does,” Snow said.

The team qualified for the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games taking place this July in the Puget Sound region after winning a championship tournament last June.

Sharon Boyle, the Special Olympics unified sports coordinator, has worked with Emmett for about seven years and said she is happy to see the kind of person he has become. Boyle said Emmett is a leader on the team and makes sure to include everyone in game plays.

“He’s always been compassionate,” said Boyle, who will help coach the Thunder Blue at the Special Olympic games. “The growth in him, growing up and accepting responsibility, is something that’s really great.”