We’ve all seen those news reports about youth sports where either the kids or the parents resort to violence during a frustrating match or game. Sometimes people have even caught these events on videotape; punches are thrown as parents feel that an umpire or referee has made a bad call. It is not a pretty picture when sporting events become melees.
Well this is a story that has nothing to do with the bad side of athleticism and everything to do with good sportsmanship.
My daughter’s first high school soccer game ever was to take place against a very rural school that wasn’t known for having a well-rounded girls’ soccer team. It was almost a given that the game would be very lopsided.
From the opening kickoff till the final whistle blew, my daughter’s soccer team scored relentlessly. Even when her team tried to ease up and not shoot the ball into the back of the net, it still somehow ended up there. But the outmatched girls on the other team never once showed any signs of frustration. They had a “no quit” attitude. The parents of children on both teams took notice of the losing team’s great sportsmanship throughout the game.
A little after the teams had shaken hands and sat down for the after-game talk with their respective coaches, I noticed one of the girls from the losing team walk over and talk to the winning team. Then I watched as both teams combined and bowed their heads to pray. Please note that both of these schools are public (secular) institutions.
The team captain from the losing team led both teams in a prayer asking God for a safe school year and His protection and guidance in all that comes before them. It was an event I will remember for the rest of my life. For just a few moments the world seemed in perfect order.
Funny how events like that never manage to make the news….