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EGUSD in the Spotlight
Stephanie Lopez-Cox returns to Elk Grove a “Golden Girl”
Not every school district can count an Olympic gold-medalist from amongst its graduates.
Elk Grove Unified can claim Stephanie Lopez-Cox, a member of the United States gold-medal-winning women’s Olympic soccer team from the 2008 Beijing Games. Lopez-Cox honed her superb soccer skills right here in Elk Grove, having attended Pleasant Grove Elementary School, Florence Markofer Elementary School and Elk Grove High School.
Photo: Stephanie Lopez-Cox looks to pass during a game against Japan at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
“I recognized that Stephanie was going to be amazing when her club coach Danny Cruz asked me to come out and watch her play,” said Seth Boyle, Lopez-Cox’s varsity soccer coach at Elk Grove High. “Once I had the chance to coach her, you could tell that she worked hard for everything she got and was obviously a gifted athlete.”
Photo: Stephanie Lopez-Cox smiles with Markofer vice-principal Karen Torres and principal Eric Murchison.
On September 5, students at Markofer had the chance to meet and talk to the Olympic gold-medal winner. Lopez-Cox shared a message of perseverance, the importance of family and how to perform well in school. At the end of her speech, Principal Eric Murchison and Vice-Principal Karen Torres presented Lopez-Cox with a Mustang Spirit shirt and a thank you card.
“It was truly a special treat to have Stephanie, a former Markofer Mustang, visit her alma mater,” said Principal Murchison. “Her message of dedication, hard work, and the importance of family was well received by the students. It was an absolute thrill to have her come back to her elementary school and share her achievements and the gold medal.”
Photo: Stephanie Lopez-Cox cheers on her teammates during a game against Japan at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Lopez-Cox attended Markofer from kindergarten through third grade. Currently, her younger brothers Daniel and Justin attend Markofer and her mother Cindy Lopez volunteers regularly at the school.
Photo: Lopez-Cox moves with the ball during a game.
This year, Lopez-Cox will serve as the grand marshal for Elk Grove High School’s homecoming festivities. She will participate in lighting the bonfire at the Powder Puff football game on Wednesday, October 15th and will ride in the homecoming parade as the grand marshal on Friday, October 17th. Lopez-Cox will also be recognized at the homecoming game on Friday, October 17th.
Boyle believes that Lopez-Cox has much left to accomplish.
“I was excited to learn that she will play for the new team in Los Angeles in the Women’s Professional Soccer League next April,” said Boyle. “Her success is truly an inspiration for many of the young players here in Elk Grove. I’m also sure that she will continue to play with the U.S. National Team as she is only 22 years old.”
Next summer, young soccer players from the Elk Grove area will once again have the chance to learn tips and skills from Lopez-Cox at her second annual soccer camp. Last year, 125 young athletes attended the camp.
Fun Facts about Stephanie
- Lopez-Cox was the youngest American player in the 2007 FIFA (International Federation of Association Football) Women’s World Cup. The United States finished third in this competition.
- She was also the youngest member on the 2007 U.S. Women’s World Cup Team.
- In 2006, Lopez-Cox served as captain of the U.S. team at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship in Russia.
- Lopez-Cox was instrumental in helping the University of Portland capture the NCAA championship in 2005.
- Lopez-Cox was a double sport athlete in high school! While at Elk Grove High School, Lopez-Cox lettered three times in basketball.
- Not only did Lopez-Cox help lead the Thundering Herd to back-to-back Delta League championships in 2001 and 2002, she also graduated from Elk Grove High School with a 4.17 GPA!
*Fun facts about Stephanie were taken from the Sacramento Bee and the U.S. Soccer website.
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April 28, 2008 - Sacramento County Educators Host Budget Forum at State Capital
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