Maine sports fans have enjoyed multiple years of title success. At this joyous moment, the Red Sox come to mind. Nor do the Patriots disappoint.
Even closer to home, we have high school boys and girls putting everything they’ve got into every game, every play. And they have much to teach us about the true nature of sports and sportsmanship.
Student athletes from MDI and Ellsworth recently competed for the regional girls’ cross-country championship in Belfast. A scoring error, mere fractions of a second, resulted in the title initially being awarded to MDI. To the credit of the Maine Principals Association, the unfortunate error was discovered and corrected. The correction designated the Ellsworth girls’ team victorious.
While disappointment (depending on the team and the day) visited both the MDI and EHS athletes, their families and supporters, the students showed maturity and understanding while controlling an emotional roller-coaster. Coaches demonstrated leadership and pride in their teams. The Ellsworth athletes did not gloat, recognizing the sportsmanship of sacrifice and integrity. MDI parents even congratulated Ellsworth’s student athletes as meet champions.
This story knows no boundaries. Comment and congratulations have been received from beyond our borders, bringing credit to these two communities, but also recognition to kids who tried their best, demonstrating the character that we all wish to see, while striving to win.
These kids and their coaches acted more like adults than many of the people in leadership roles in our society. In the end, character counts, in sports and in life.
MDI Athletic Director Bunky Dow summed up the story best: “Sports has a uniquely human way of making us all better. This story is a lesson for us all.”