Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” That has never been truer than Saturday at the state basketball tournament.
Last Saturday night 14 ballplayers and a coaching staff forever made an impact on this small community. I am also sure they will remember the thousands of students, parents, former players and fans who traveled to the game and cheered them on to victory.
Paul “Bear” Bryant said, “Show class, have pride and display character. If you do, success takes care of itself.”
As I sat in front of the student section at the Dee Events Center, I could see rows and rows of individuals wearing maroon and white. Thousands had come to support our basketball boys as they were preparing to battle for and win the State 3A championship.
What an exciting night! As the final minutes ticked off the clock, a member of the State High School Athletic Association came to me and said, “Your students have been wonderful, your community loves and supports this school, and your players have played with heart and dignity.” I thanked him and let him know that it was well deserved. I knew that as a school and a community, we had done just as Bryant had said: we had shown character and class.
As the closing seconds ran off the clock, it was an amazing scene as I watched Morgan supporters stand and cheer our basketball boys to victory.
It was an honor to be a part of that. With a lump in my throat, I stood when the celebration began thinking how proud I was to be Trojan. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to see the students of this community work hard and do their best each day.
We often have the opportunity to see students perform in a sport or on a stage, but I want to also congratulate the students in our district who take their academics seriously and put forth their best effort. Many times those successes are personal and go unpublished.
It has also been said that “Pride is a personal commitment. It is an attitude which separates excellence from mediocrity.” I realize we may not always hoist that championship trophy every time, but living in a community with great kids, a wonderful school district with great staff members, and community with support definitely presents an attitude that separates excellence from mediocrity.