In the world of sports, we all enjoy the comeback story in any sporting event. We begin the game with high expectations of the outcome as we cheer on the team as they take to the field. As the seconds tick away and the innings are closing we realize victory is becoming more distant. It is at that point we often find ourselves watching and hoping for a comeback win.
Under blue sky filled with white clouds and temperatures in the high 80s, Coach Dave Cisar's Blue Eagles rallied in the late innings Saturday to give the faithful fans reasons to sit on the edge of their seats. Fingers crossed and silent prayers said, Coach Cisar's team never gave up and played the last game they would play in the 2013 season. They wanted more than anything else in the world to claim the season's championship. It would be the end to a season envied by many coaches. Cisar's team had bested every state team played in the regular season, with the exception of AAA John Marshall and A Linsly. An accomplishment that both Coach Cisar and Trey Barcus can each be proud of. Coach Cisar is known for making games exciting until the final out and Saturdays' game was no exception.
For those of us who follow the team, we too can be proud of the Blue Eagles' many accomplishments this year. The team kept a good attitude and their eye on the ball throughout the season. Players stepped up when called to play in the game. They also waited patiently when they were not in the game, but never forgot to support the players on the field with chatter and encouragement. That's what a team is made of when they are champions at heart.
I know those are fine words and do not change the fact the championship was lost to another team. But for me I remember what the words of the announcer, who at the beginning of high school sporting events reminds us all, this is a competition between young people and sportsmanship is the key ingredient in the game. Again fine words, but we all want to win after traveling so far in the season with hopes soaring high with each of the team's victories.
For me, a high school sport is different than most others. The players are part of not only a team, but part of the community. They are young people who are about to enter the world where their daily lives will be directed to higher education, future families, finding a job, and all the other challenges they each will face in life. But in high school sports, the athletes face those challenges with teammates with whom they have grown up and have become friends. They also face those challenges with coaches who not only guide their athletic careers but care deeply about all their players. Coaches hope they not only can teach them about sports, but about growing into young men and women who understand sportsmanship. Winning is easy to learn, but losing can be a difficult lesson to accept for any of us. Often it is the hardest lesson to learn and accept-especially when a state championship was within your grasp as it was last Saturday in Charleston.
Over the years we all have seen the end of games come down to one last play with the home team behind. In football, the clock ticks away as the team is on the 50-yard line and time for one last play. The quarterback looks for the runner in the end zone and throws a Hail Mary Pass to his man surrounded by defenders. In basketball, the last two seconds tick away as the player crosses the center court and heaves the ball toward the winning basket at the sound of the buzzer.
This time, it came down to the bottom of the seventh inning and Senior Chandler Sapp comes to the plate. All eyes on the batter as he looks toward the man on the mound and waits for his pitch. Does he think about the season and how it has come down to this moment? Does he think about his team and what they expect out of him? Or perhaps he remembers the words of encouragement from Coach Cisar as he picked up the bat and headed toward the batter's box?
I choose to think he remembered he was part of a team and will do the best he can. Only Chandler knows what his thoughts were as the last pitch of the game came his way. But in his heart he knew his team and coaches and the faithful fans that followed the team to Charleston were with him the whole time, no matter the outcome.
For seniors Ryan Walton, Kyle Elliott, Tanner Hanna, and Chandler Sapp, we thank you for a good job on a great season of baseball. For the juniors and the younger players, there are more Blue Eagle Baseball seasons to come and as they say in sports, "We'll gettum' next year!"
Congratulation to all the Magnolia Blue Eagles and coaches on a fine 2013 season as we look Thru the Lens.