#LIJSLGoodSports: U15 SB Spartans Boys Shine in Sportsmanship, Give Player the Shot of a Lifetime!
November 24, 2014
It's not the score of this game that the players, spectators and coaches will remember. How many of us remember the score of most of the youth sporting games we watch? What is usually talked about long after the score is recorded is the action of the players, the demeanor of the coaches, and the behavior of the parents on the sidelines.
The Spartans, a Stony Brook U15 boys team, saw a chance to turn an ordinary game into something extraordinary. The boys were up 3-0 at the half and were talking strategy, preparing for the second half. An older brother of one of the players interrupted the huddle to share some news with the team. He noticed that a player on the other team, #3, had special needs and told the boys they should give the player some space with the ball. The team quickly agreed and went back onto the field.
For the second half, the boys played with generosity. They set up shots and created opportunities for the other player. The opposing team did the same, passing the ball to #3, and encouraging him to go for the net.
Shortly after the start of the half, #3 took a shot. It was wide, but the crowd cheered, because they were in on it too. The feeling was contagious, and both teams were rooting for him. A little further into the game, after a few more attempts, #3 received the ball. As he dribbled, the teams made space, and at about 15 yards from the net, he fired a shot and this time he was victorious. The sidelines erupted as the player leaped into the arms of a fellow teammate.
If you asked anyone after the game what the score was, they would have likely told you they didn't know. Chances are the story being told at the dinner table that night was about teamwork, the love of the game, and the cheering of the crowd. Whoever said it's not about winning or losing, but about how you play the game may have been right.