Posted by Adam Kertesz
In a world where sportsmanship has sadly lost much of its meaning, and we seem to have lost all hope in our future generations, here is an inspiring story that shows how truly compassionate high school students can be.
Here is the link to a fantastic article by Rick Reilly at espn.com, but to paraphrase: In Indianapolis, a junior varsity girls softball team (Roncalli) was completely dominating a game against a team (Marshall) from an inner city school playing their very first game in school history. The Marshall team showed up with very little equipment, and most of them (including their coach!) have never even seen a game before. Roncalli then did what NO ONE would expect them to do: an inning and a half into the game, after not losing a game for 2.5 years- THEY forfeited the game. And what happened next was just amazing to watch:
"The Marshall players did NOT want to quit," wrote Roncalli JV coach Jeff Traylor, in recalling the incident. "They were willing to lose 100 to 0 if it meant they finished their first game." But the Marshall players finally decided if Roncalli was willing to forfeit for them, they should do it for themselves. They decided that maybe -- this one time -- losing was actually winning.
That's about when the weirdest scene broke out all over the field: Roncalli kids teaching Marshall kids the right batting stance, throwing them soft-toss in the outfield, teaching them how to play catch. They showed them how to put on catching gear, how to pitch, and how to run the bases. Even the umps stuck around to watch."
So the next time you hear about pro athletes getting arrested, fighting with fans, refusing to shake hands with their opponents; or about kids getting into fights, laughing at their opponents when they score a goal, refusing to shake hands with their opponents (because their 'heroes' the pro athletes did the same thing)... think about the girls in this story and how little a 2.5 year winning streak meant to a team that in one afternoon, probably without even realizing it, changed the lives of that Marshall team. The players on both of these teams all walked away that day not just as better players, but as better people too.