Mercer Island High School 2019 graduate Adam Braman, right, poses for a picture with professional soccer player Wayne Rooney earlier this year. Braman earned the Steve Newman Spirit award in 2019. Photo courtesy of Adam Braman

Mercer Island High School 2019 graduate Adam Braman, right, poses for a picture with professional soccer player Wayne Rooney earlier this year. Braman earned the Steve Newman Spirit award in 2019. Photo courtesy of Adam Braman

Braman earns Steve Newman Spirit award

Mercer Island 2019 grad attains a coveted honor.

Mercer Island High School 2019 graduate Adam Braman recently attained one of the most prestigious accolades in the soccer milieu on the island.

Braman, who will play soccer at Seattle University this fall, was awarded the Steve Newman Spirit award. The award, which has been doled out the past seven years, is given to a member of the team who embodies former Mercer Island boys soccer head coach Newman’s spirit, love for soccer and community values. Newman was the coach of the program for almost 20 seasons.

The Mercer Island goalie knows how much the honor means to the soccer community on Mercer Island.

“I’m really honored to have won the award. I loved how he (Newman) handled himself. I tried to align myself with values Steve held and the other role models that have come through the program,” Braman said in a phone interview on July 25. “It is kind of crazy to think about. It was one of those things where I always thought it would be so cool to win that award and then I won it. I got to live the dream.”

Braman recently committed to continue his soccer career at Seattle University.

“I always really wanted to play Division-1 soccer. I committed really late. They called me and said a (roster) spot opened up for the fall. It was one of those things where you work super hard for something and finally achieve it,” Braman explained.

The journey to the dream of playing collegiate soccer was a long winding road for Braman.

“I was on the C-team my freshman year (2016 season). I don’t even think I was a starter. I worked my way through everything. I stayed late after practices, I’d go on runs in the mornings and practice before school. I cared so much. That drive came from wanting to play D-1 soccer,” Braman said.

Watching the 2016 Islanders boys soccer squad lose to the Interlake Saints in the Class 3A state championship game in May of 2016 at Sparks Stadium was a painful experience.

“Watching my brother, who was on that team, lose in the state finals was one of my main motivators. To this day, I still have a photo of Interlake’s soccer team winning state. I’d wake up, look at that picture and it would just get me out of bed,” Braman said.

Playing high school soccer for the Mercer Island High School boys soccer program is something Braman will always cherish.

“What I will remember most are the friendships I made. In club soccer, you train together twice a week but in high school soccer you get to see the guys every day. You see them in the halls, you see them in class. In my classes, I would always partner up with my soccer buddies for projects. Then we go out to the field and practice for two hours. It is so unique because you spend so much time with these people,” Braman said. “I think that is something special. It is one of those things that I will remember for life.”

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