We think of school and extra curricular activities as being all about the kids and the lessons they learn. Not always… We recently witnessed a true lesson for all from a group of high school kids who are the epitome of class.
Earning a trip to the state tournament was not an easy task as they come from a section filled with tough competition. Nail biting, last-minute wins, illness requiring surgery thus ending the season of a player, all added up to a season filled with drama. On top of that, a season dedicated to a memory…
Their first round game of the 2014 Minnesota State A Tournament was not meant to be easy and they knew it. The opposing team had averaged 92 points per game this season and were an offensive powerhouse. The moments seemed like hours as the plays unfolded and they found themselves down by 17. They had become known as the “Come Back Kids” so the spectators were not surprised when they erased their opponents lead and inched ahead. The scoreboard adjusted back and forth until time ran out. Tied game.
Cheers of elation and anguish mixed amongst the fans as we watched these young men play their hearts out with tremendous sportsmanship. Nervous tension filled the air as the players and coaches accepted their fate. They win as a team and lose as a team. The sad thing about first round tournament play is that one of the teams has to lose and that means you are done for this year. If you are a senior, it’s the end of the road for you.
The Tribune link above missed the real story here. Dignity and the true meaning of sportsmanship was demonstrated as the coach walked with his team over to the stands and the exhausted, disappointed and emotionally drained team gave their fans and community a standing ovation before going back to the locker room. They sure did us proud. The players on the bench also deserve a standing “O” for making the players on the court what they are today. The second string players have the thankless job of showing up at practice, ready to go full throttle to make the team a stronger unit.
It has been a life lesson to all of the family, friends and fans of this team: Life is fickle and you never know what’s in the cards at any point in your life. Work hard, never give up, it’s not over ’til it’s over, perseverance, patience and faith that it will be O.K. Hats off to the parents, coaches and teachers for instilling these values so that they could be demonstrated out on the court.
Upon reflection of the season, my husband turned to me and said, “If this is a glimpse of who will be running our world… it’s going to be O.K.” I think he’s right.