Sports teaches us about life
I’ve now had time to reflect on the abrupt end to our dream football season. Lexington High School entered the first round of the 4A playoffs this past Friday with an undefeated record. Eleven regular season wins and no losses for the first time since the early 1950’s. Many predicted that the Wildcats would go deep into the playoffs and eventually play Gaffney for the 4A State Championship. And suddenly, that would not be the case. We were eliminated by Blythewood High School by a score of 32-28. This is what I’ve come to know and appreciate about my children participating in sports.
Playing recreational , middle, and high school sports is a privilege. At least we treat it that way in our home. Academics comes first, and then sports. I believe the privilege of participating in team sports helps prepare my children for real life after high school as much as the classroom does. Learning to play together as a team prepares them for working together as team in their chosen profession later in life.
Overcoming adversity and having each other’s back in team sports will also serve to teach my children to do the same throughout the rest of their lives. My children have had and will continue to have different coaching styles. Again, this prepares them for future employment and the different types of management and leadership styles they will encounter.
Playing sports brings joys, challenges, and huge disappointments that will help shape how my children react and respond. At some point in life, one of my children may be up for a big promotion or award. They may be the best and most qualified candidate for the job or to receive the award. Co-workers, friends, and family may predict they will get it, yet they might not. Someone else might beat them out for the promotion or award. Disappointment and a sense of loss for what might have been will surely follow.
My son, a junior on the LHS Varsity Football team, his teammates, coaches, family members, and friends now know that feeling well after our dream season ended. We weren’t ready for the great ride of a winning season to be over, but suddenly it was.
I’m happy to report that the sun came up at our house the next morning and as each day passes the sting of the loss subsides a bit. We are moving on, grateful for the experience and extremely proud of what our Wildcats accomplished on and off the field. We realize that playing sports doesn’t have to define who someone is. It’s just part of who they are and what they do.
This quote after our loss is borrowed from my friend, Scott Vaughan. It sums up exactly how I feel about playing sports.
” In sports, as in life, those who choose to play will experience both the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, the euphoria of being an underdog who wins, and the heartache of being a favored champion that stumbles. Our historic Wildcats fell last night in the playoffs, and will hurt this weekend, but these boys of fall have a lot of life to live and live well.”
Proud Wildcat mom,
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P.S. Gamecock fans, get ready to see LHS standout, Shaq Roland play for USC next year. It is a delight to see this young man play football. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Shaq was the man back in rec league football and Shaq is still the man. Best wishes to him and all the senior football players at LHS. You have brought us much fun and enjoyment on Friday nights!
P.S.S. Hats off to Coach Reggie Kennedy and his Blythewood Football Team. You came ready to play hard and play hard you did.